Bananas gone brown? Make banana bread! This recipe is guaranteed to stay moist and tender from the use of sour cream and gets a crunchy, crackly top from a combination of granulated and turbinado sugar. Customize your bread by folding in chopped nuts, chocolate chips or both. But first! Some tips on how to make the perfect banana bread every time.
How to Make the Perfect Banana Bread
• Use overripe bananas. We are talking dark, heavily spotted ones. Overripe bananas are responsible for both sweetness and overall flavour. If you want to speed up the process, place bananas in a paper bag along with an apple (or another fruit that emits ethylene).
• Need banana bread now? Bake unpeeled bananas on a parchment lined, rimmed baking sheet at 300°F until their peels turn black.
• Do not over-mix the batter. After the flour has been mixed in, it is OK if the batter is not completely smooth. Folding in the bananas and other add-ins will help keep from over-mixing as well.
• Add some crunch! Without any add-ins, the texture can be a bit monotonous. If you don’t want to add in nuts, make sure to sprinkle the batter with sugar. Once baked, the sugar on top creates a nice, crackly crunch. And if you are adding nuts, it’s a good idea to toast them before folding into the batter with the bananas.
• Sour cream is the preferred dairy; the fat provides plenty of moisture and the acidity keeps the bread nice and tender. Don’t have sour cream? Try using full-fat, plain Greek yogurt or buttermilk.
• Freeze banana bread (full loaf or slices) in a double-layer of plastic wrap before being placed in a large, resealable bag for up to three months. Make sure the banana bread has completely cooled before freezing.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer (hand or stand mixer), mix together the oil, sugars and eggs until smooth. Add the sour cream and vanilla and mix until combined.
With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture. Stop mixing before the last streaks of flour disappear in the batter. Do not over-mix – it is OK if the batter isn’t completely smooth. Fold in the mashed bananas until combined.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with granulated and turbinado sugar (about a tsp or two of each), if desired.
Bake the bread for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean or with a few moist crumbs. Do no overbake.
Allow the banana bread to cool on a wire rack before slicing.