I have made this banana recipe at least four times in the last month.
Twice to try for the first, and second, time. Again as mini cakes for a bridal shower. The most recent for neighbors and Hub. And every time for fun. I even remembered to add in the bananas every time.
The recipe is usually for one big loaf, but I wanted to make a loaf and two smaller loaves so I one-and-a-halved the recipe and added very minimal changes to it. I love nutmeg so I had to add it in. Most people that tried it, which ended up only being a handful because Hub and I devoured it all, didn't think it was banana bread at all. It's spicy (meaning cinnamon and nutmeg spicy) and reminded me of Amish Friendship Bread which is Hub's all time favorite quick bread that I make.
I made it a long time ago and can't remember the recipe I used. :(
There was another person, a little person, that loved this bread probably more than Hub even. A family we've been good friends with for a few years (and used to be regular babysitters for) moved down south last year to New Mexico. They recently moved back to the bubble and we were so happy to be spending time with them again. We babysat for them a week or so ago, and I brought a mini loaf of this bread over. Their little girl asked me what it was, and I said, "It's a gift for you". 'You' meaning, her family. Apparently she hadn't grasped the concept of one word meaning two different things, but then she's only three. I went upstairs to see the baby, and while I was cooing her, Abby came upstairs. She walked over to me, set her hand on my knee and said, "Jenny, that bread was really good." I smiled and told her I was glad she enjoyed it, set the baby back in her crib and we went downstairs to play. By the time her parents came home, she'd had three small slices.
When they walked through the door Abby immediately grabbed her mother's hand, and told her to close her eyes. She led her over to the oven where the bread was sitting, told her to open her eyes, and when her mother asked what it was she triumphantly shouted, "It's a gift from Jenny. Jenny made it. For me!"
When we announced we were leaving, she had a defeated look on her face. We were saying good-bye and I assured her we'd come back to visit and to not be sad. As we walked towards the door she took my hand, looked longingly at the bread on the oven and asked if we were taking the bread with us. I laughed and told her, "No, remember it was a gift for you and your mom, dad, and Trey." Her face passed through relief, contemplation, and then she looked around, then up at me again and blurted, "But there's not enough!" Of course with a request to share by her mother, she smiled and said, "okay".
This is what she did to Hub when he told her he ate it all.
I don't think anyone has loved a baked good of mine more than Abby, or at least no one has been so openly honest about it. I love the sincerity of children.
banana bread on the brain
I hope Molly doesn't mind that I post my calculated measurements and additions here. I assure you, she and Bakesale Betty deserve all the credit.
Abby's Favorite Banana Bread
with Cinnamon Crumble Topping
2¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
half a nutmeg, freshly grated
¾ teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
¾ teaspoons salt
1½ cup mashed ripe banana (about 4 medium bananas)
3 large eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup plus 2 Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ the remaining half of nutmeg (or the entire half if you fancy)
3 Tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Butter and flour a loaf pan. You could also oil the pan and then line it with parchment paper, easy clean up, and the bread is sure to come out clean without sticking.
Combine in a separate bowl the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the banana, eggs, oil, honey, and water. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir well. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
Combine the topping ingredients, sprinkle them over the batter.
Set the loaves in the oven, and immediately lower temperature to 350°F. Bake the bread until an inserted toothpick, whatever, comes out clean; about an hour. Cool the bread in the pan, then take the bread out (this is where you're grateful you used parchment paper. Cool completely before slicing.
Yield: 1 large loaf and two small loaves
This is great in the morning with some yummy ricotta and fresh strawberries. yum.