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Let’s be honest: banana bread is really just a way to use up overripe bananas. I assume that one time in history, someone was fed up with having their bananas go from green to brown so quickly and decided they were going to bake something. Boom! Banana bread.
My grandma always had banana bread in the freezer. She baked them in small loaves so she could easily eat one and always wanted to send a loaf home with any visitor. Grandma’s banana bread was good. There was not an overabundance of flavor with any depth other than banana, but it was always spot on and looked perfect. Just like Grandma, I’m never happy with a recipe and like to adjust and modify constantly. This ultimate banana bread has elements of Grandma’s with the flavor turned way up!
What is a quick bread?
Banana bread is a quick bread, meaning that the entire process from mixing the ingredients together to baking is done in a matter of minutes. Unlike conventional yeast bread, there is no yeast in a quick bread. The leavening comes from baking powder and eggs. The outcome is often closer to a cake texture than a bread. No one’s going to complain about that now are they?
Traditional banana bread tends to be dense and almost wet. To counteract the excess moisture in bananas, this recipe uses bread flour. The higher protein rate in this type of flour helps to create a better, more appealing texture.
How can I add flavor to quick bread?
Many times, zucchini or other produce that had a bumper crop in the garden were used up by making quick bread and cakes. To cover up the absence of flavor, sugar was added. Thus, quick breads can have copious amounts of sugar.
Bananas have a lot of natural sugar. And by cutting the sugar in the recipe and making a switch to brown sugar, more banana flavor comes through along with caramel notes. To bring out more caramel, this recipe uses not only brown sugar but also molasses.
To incorporate depth, tahini is added. Tahini is roasted sesame seeds ground up into a peanut butter-like consistency. The flavor isn’t strong but has a slightly savory quality that brings out more of the banana.
Can this recipe make multiple smaller loaves?
In short, the answer is yes!
Banana bread has a lot of moisture in the batter and is very thick once mixed together. While in the oven, the baking powder activates and some of the excess moisture slowly bakes out. This bread takes a long time to bake in one loaf pan but will give a beautiful large loaf. The recipe can easily be made into several smaller mini loaf pans. The time will need to be adjusted accordingly but the outcome will be just as ultimate!
Watch how to make this banana bread:
Ultimate Banana Bread
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup tahini
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tbsp molasses
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 ¼ cups mashed banana
- 2 ½ cups bread flour
- 1 ½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 cup chocolate pieces (chunks or chips)
- 1 whole banana
- 1 tbsp turbinado sugar
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar, tahini, and eggs. Mix together until well combined and smooth. Add in the molasses, vanilla, and salt. Mix to combine. Add the prepared mashed banana and mix.
- Add the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Mix until just a few dry streaks remain. Do not overmix. Add the chocolate and fold in.
- Grease an 8 1/2" x 4" loaf pan. Pour batter into the loaf pan and spread to make an even layer. Slice whole banana into ¼-inch pieces and shingle them across the top, making two parallel lines. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar.
- Bake in preheated oven until a skewer inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean, 60-80 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan and cool on a rack for 2 hours.