Wonderfully light in texture, but big on banana flavour, this 2-banana banana bread is the perfect use for your over-ripe bananas.
I seem to have a never ending supply of over-ripe bananas, but somehow, I always end up with just two stragglers. I was highly motivated to find a great banana bread recipe that needed only 2 bananas and this is the one that has served me well for years.
While this 2-Banana Banana Bread is light in colour and texture, it is big on banana flavour, even with just 2 bananas. It needs only regular pantry items, too. And best of all, it will fill your house with all the wonderful baking smells! You will have a hard time waiting for this one to cool before grabbing a slice. (It has the loveliest crust, too - lightly crisp and perfect for slicing.)
This banana bread will keep well for several days, wrapped and stored on the counter or freeze extras for later. I think you'll also love that this banana bread is fairly light in fat and sugar, too!
Here are the ingredients you will need ...
Bananas: Obviously, the more ripe the bananas, the bigger the banana flavour. That said, I have made this bread with bananas that are just starting to form brown spots with success. Unless you have super small bananas, you will only need 2 bananas here. If you have a little less or a little more than 1 cup of mashed bananas, no worries. Just use it all.
Butter: You can use salted or unsalted butter here. I like unsalted myself, if I have it on hand. If using salted butter, reduce the added salt in the flour mixture slightly.
White Sugar: I haven't tested this recipe with less sugar, but if you are needing to reduce added sugar, you could probably reduce to 1/2 cup. It will, of course, affect the sweetness of the finished loaf, but also possibly reduce the banana flavour, as the sugar works to enhance the banana flavour, as well.
Eggs: Have your eggs at room temperature before baking, for best results. Removing from the fridge 20-30 minutes ahead should do it. I used free-range eggs here, which are quite a bright yellow. Yours batter may be paler in colour.
All-purpose flour: I am a bread baker, so I always have unbleached flour on hand, so that's what I used here. I don't think a bleached all-purpose will change the results at all. I haven't tested this recipe with alternate flours.
Baking powder, baking soda and salt
1. Be sure your butter is just at room temperature, then add to the mixing bowl, together with the white sugar.
2. Beat the butter/sugar mixture for 2-3 minutes, until it is light in colour. Don't skimp on time here, as this process is important to the finished texture of your loaf.
3. Add the eggs, one a a time, beating well after each addition.
4. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl well, to catch any bits of butter that haven't incorporated into the mixture.
5. How your batter will look after both eggs have been added and mixed well.
6. Add the flour mixture (whisked together with the baking soda, baking powder and salt) to the batter, alternating with the mashed banana. That means adding 1/3 of the flour, then 1/2 of the bananas, then the second 1/3 of flour, the remaining bananas and finally the remaining flour. Mix until well combined.
7. Grab your loaf pan, prepared with a sheet of parchment paper that covers the bottom and long sides of the pan. I find spraying the loaf pan first helps the parchment to stick to the sides and not fall into the pan when adding the batter. I don't feel you generally need to line the ends of the pans, unless the loaf is super sticky.
8. Add the batter to your prepared loaf pan and level the top.
Be sure your oven is preheated and bake. Every time I bake this loaf it takes a different amount of time, anywhere from 45 minutes to 55 minutes. Start looking at the loaf at about the 40 minute mark. If the loaf is still pale, let it bake longer, before opening the oven and testing. The loaf is approaching done when the top is turning quite golden and cracked. When it starts to look like that, use a tester to test it. The loaf is done when a tester comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the loaf.
How do I store the baked banana bread: Once cooled completely, store this bread at room temperature, well-wrapped.
Can you freeze banana bread? Yes! This bread will freeze well, tightly wrapped, up to 2 months.
Can I use a different size loaf pan? An 8x4-inch loaf pan is recommended, for best results. While it seems it should be possible to use the larger 9x5-loaf pan and make a shorter/wider loaf, some people have had issues with the loaf not baking all the way through when using the larger pan size. I haven't tested this, so I can't say if it always happens or not. You may be able to manage it by covering the top loosely with aluminum foil to stop it from over-browning, while continuing to let it cook longer so it will cook through completely.
2 Banana Banana Bread
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt, reduce slightly if using salted butter
- 1/3 cup butter, at room temperature
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 cup bananas, mashed, about 2 medium, very-ripe bananas
- Preheat oven to 350F (not fan-assisted/convection) with rack in centre of oven. *Reduce oven temperature by 25F for glass pans.
- Prepare an 8.5 x4.5-inch metal loaf pan (at least 2 1/2 inches deep) by spraying with cooking spray, then lining the bottom and sides with a sheet of parchment paper that extends about 1-inch over the sides, to use as handles to remove the loaf after baking. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together well the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the room temperature butter and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition and scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- With mixer on low, add the flour mixture, alternately with the mashed bananas (add 1/3 flour mixture, then 1/2 the bananas, then more flour, then remaining banana, ending with the remaining flour). Mix until well combined, then give it a quick, 15-second beat.
- Pour batter into prepared 8x4-inch loaf pan and level top.
- Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. *Start checking the loaf at about 40 minutes. If the top is still quite pale, no need to test. Start testing when the top is cracked and turning golden.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, then remove from the baking pan, gently remove the parchment paper and allow to cool further or completely on a baking rack.
Nutritional information provided for general guidance only and should not be relied upon to make personal health decisions.
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