I know we've been through banana bread before on this blog. With one, I begged you to let your bananas really ripen, to turn black and gooey and I stand by that still. The other was a lower-fat version. The kind you perhaps make for yourself when you think you might not have the will power to resist eating the entire loaf. But this banana bread, this is for company.
Mark Bittman calls it the ultimate. And after thirty years of making banana breads (his estimation, not mine), it would be hard to challenge him. Now, if you're not a coconut lover, I want to tell you that the coconut in this adds a certain something, but it's not an overpowering coconut flavor. Don't leave it out, but don't expect a tropical tasting bread, either.
That's all to say that this bread is my new favorite, and I'm not just saying that because R made it tonight while I read, then let me photograph and share it. This banana bread really is the best.
Mark Bittman's Banana Bread
From Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything
1 stick butter
1 1/2 cups ap flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I think nuts are always optional)
1/2 cup grated dried unsweetened coconut
Oven preheated to 350 F, grease a 9x5" loaf pan.
Mix together the dry ingredients and cream the butter. Beat the eggs and bananas into the butter, then stir this mixture into the dry ingredients. Finally, stir in the vanilla, the nuts if you're using them, and the coconut.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for around 1 hour, but start checking earlier at about 45 minutes, until it passes the toothpick test.