Flat breads (non leavened) were made throughout the Middle East as early as 7,000 B.C. but probably didn’t have bananas until later. Banana bread recipes for the most part are ‘quick breads’ leavened with baking powder or baking soda.
Quick breads recipes were not developed until the end of the 18th century. In ‘American Cookery’ (1796 – the first American cook book) Amelia Simmons published recipes using ‘Pearlash’ (in modern baking it has been replaced by baking soda), and we exported some 8,000 tons to Europe in 1792. But she has no specific recipe for banana bread. Baking powder was not developed commercially until 1857 so the banana bread as we know it (a quick bread) could have been first made in America in the 18th century when housewives discovered pearlash as a chemical leavening agent.
Whatever the history of Banana Bread is, it’s moist, soft with just the right amount of sweetness, flavorful and so delicious. The cinnamon in this recipe adds another dimension to the bread. You sure can increase the amount of cinnamon if you wish.
So when I have extra ripe bananas this is the go to recipe I use.
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- ¼ cup canola oil
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 cups of peeled bananas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup bread flour
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Prepare a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan by spraying lightly with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cut a piece of parchment so it is as wide as the length of the inside of the pan. Press it into the pan with the excess coming up each side and protruding from the top. These will act as handles to remove the bread as soon as it comes out of the oven so it doesn’t get darker. Also place a small piece of parchment on either end so that none of the pan touches batter.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter until smooth, add oil and beat again. Add sugar and beat on medium for one minute.
- Add eggs and beat on medium for another minute.
- Add bananas and vanilla and beat for 30 seconds.
- In a medium bowl, mix both flours, salt, baking soda and cinnamon with a whip.
- With mixer running, slowly add flour just until combined. Do not over beat.
- Remove bowl and fold in nuts by hand.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and even out the batter.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
- Remove pan from oven, lift the two long sides of parchment and gently lift the bread onto a cooling rack.
- When the bread is cool, dust it with powdered sugar.
P.S: Ovens vary so watch your cake closely during the last ten minutes of baking.
P.P.S: I used 2 cups whole wheat flour with 1/2 teaspoon corn starch and the bread came out great.