In case any of you didn’t know, one of the main missions behind Drizzleanddip aside from the altruistic desire to share delicious food and my recipes on the internet, was to unearth and discover the best-ever version of any baked good that I love. I want to put a stake in the ground and move on feeling assured that I have discovered what I think is the best. I move through life always on the hunt for delicious recipes – you can ask pretty much any chef I encounter, and I’m never completely settled until I find THE ONE. I’ll go into more detail about the ONES that I have found and probably why I wrote a dessert and baking cookbook, but I had never really found the best banana bread. There are many recipes claiming to be the best and I think the version I have in my first cookbook was probably the closest I got to it until I discovered this recipe by Ashlae from Oh Lady Cakes Blog. A quick interrogation uncovered two new interesting aspects: 1) the bananas need to be completely overripe, and 2) there is quite a lot of salt in the mix. I had to try.
Because I’m of the belief that banana bread should contain a minimum of 4 large bananas I had to increase the ratio to that. I can almost not get enough banana flavour into the loaf no matter how hard I try. I also wanted to play around with coconut sugar, which I have recently fallen in love with and never used in baking. Ashlae strongly insists that the bananas need to be well into their overripe stage to add the relevant sweetness to this recipe and I fear mine were not quite there yet but close. I used her quantity of sugar but replaced it with coconut sugar which is less sweet, and the overall result was I wanted more sweetness. I know I should have double tested this recipe for you guys using regular sugar but I’m going make take a stab at the perfect ratio here. Coconut sugar has a delicious caramel/palm sugar taste about it so I would use Muscovado or Demerara sugar as a substitute if you cant find it.
This recipe is made by hand and it’s important not to overwork the mixture after the flour has been added. This will cause the texture of the loaf to be chewy (too much gluten being released etc). So you can beat the hell out of the mixture before this stage, but then delicately fold the flour through.
I’m also of the belief that walnuts are imperative to banana bread and I loved how they were added to the top of this loaf along with additional sugar and sea salt flakes to create a sublime crunchy topping.
The texture of this loaf is ridiculously soft and moist and remains so after a few days sealed in an airtight container. It is now my best-ever banana bread and will be my go-to until I ever discover a better one. I probably won’t bother looking tbh.
*Cooks notes – Top tip – if you have bananas that have gone past their edible stage of ripeness, pop them in the freezer in their skins and simply thaw when next you want to make banana bread. I always have at least 4 stashed away for this exact purpose. They turn black and look quite gross, but don’t worry, they are fine.
Oh, and in case you wanted to know what my best ever baked recipes are, take a look here:
Recipe – makes one medium-sized loaf – adapted from Oh Lady Cakes
- 4 very ripe/overripe bananas (380gms)
- 4 large free-range eggs
- 2 Tbsp milk (any kind)
- ½ cup sunflower oil or other neutral oil
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar (muscovado / Demerara)
- 2 cups flour (I weighed out 290gms)
- 2 tsp (8gm) baking powder
- ¼ tsp (1gm) baking soda
- 1 tsp salt (yip, a whole teaspoon of table salt)
- 2 - 3Tbsp coconut sugar (or 2 Tbsp regular dark brown sugar of your choice)
- a handful of walnuts, roughly chopped (a little more than ¼ cup)
- Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F and line a medium sized loaf tin with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl whisk the bananas until soft (this will happen easily), then add the eggs, milk, oil and sugar. Whisk until well combined.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into the wet mixture and gently fold until its incorporated.
- Empty this into the lined baking tin and top with the additional sugar, chopped walnuts and sea salt flakes. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes until golden and baked through. To test if it’s done, insert a sharp knife into the thickest part of the loaf and if it comes out clean it's done. If necessary, loosely cover the loaf with tin foil from about halfway through to prevent over browning.
- Allow this to cool in the tin for a while and then remove to cool on a wrack.
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