The Ultimate Banana Bread?

I like banana bread.  I don't know too many who don't.  I make a pretty good banana bread if I do say so myself.  Lots of people have asked me for my recipe and I'm always happy to share.

I've made lots of different types of banana bread like Bourbon Banana Bread and Blueberry Banana Bread.  I still like my plain old banana bread better.  I want to taste banana in my banana bread.  But when I saw a Facebook post from Cook's Illustrated that they had created the ultimate banana bread, well I just had to try it.

You can watch the video of the Cook's Cast making this bread and get the recipe by clicking HERE.

There are six, yes six bananas in this recipe!  I only had three getting ripe so I had to get three more and close them up in a bag until I had six ripe bananas.

The trick, they say, is to go get some of the moisture out of the bananas to concentrate their flavor.  How do you do this?  You microwave the bananas!

Five of the six bananas are placed in a bowl and covered with plastic wrap.  As you can see I still haven't used up all that red plastic wrap!  Poke some holes in the plastic and after a few minutes in the microwave quite a bit of liquid comes off them.  I got nearly a cup! 

This liquid is then reduced down to just a quarter of a cup and added back to the bananas.

As you'll see in the video, the cast of Cook's Illustrated wasn't terribly impressed with the visual of these microwaved, mashed bananas.  Neither was I.  But they were right, it smelled amazing!
The rest of the ingredients are mixed together and the batter is placed in a prepared pan.  Here's where the sixth banana comes in.  The banana is sliced on a bias (because just round pieces of banana wouldn't look good) and shingled on each side of the loaf.
To top it off the entire top of the loaf is sprinkled with sugar!  The bananas "brulee" in the oven!  About an hour later this is what emerges from the oven.  It's a pretty loaf.
After a little wait we cut into it and tasted it.  Is it the ultimate banana bread?
I'm going to be honest, I like my banana bread better.  This recipe had quite a bit of brown sugar in it which gives it a caramel note I don't really care for.  I like the flavor of banana all by itself.  This recipe is also a lot more work than mine!


  1. So I am searching the site for your banana bread (as I eat a banana) and wondering when that will be posted. Love Cooks and they are so good. I made their skillet apple crisp last night and it was great!!

  2. Well Monica I guess I'm going to have to ripen some more bananas and make it! It's something I make all the time. Here's the recipe:

    I used to only use sour cream, not yogurt but I've tried this with greek yogurt and I think it's even better!

    2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
    3/4 cup granulated sugar
    3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/2 teaspoontable salt
    3 very ripe bananas, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
    1/4 cup sour cream or plain greek yogurt
    2 large eggs, beaten lightly
    6 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract


    Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of regular loaf pan; set aside.

    Combine flour, sugar, soda and salt in large bowl; set aside.

    Mix mashed bananas, sour cream (or yogurt), eggs, butter, and vanilla in medium bowl. Add banana mixture into dry ingredients until just combined. The batter will be thick. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about an hour. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack.


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