My son, Nick, was a toddler when he first tasted this tender banana bread. He's about to turn 15, but this is still one of his favorite things to eat for breakfast or as an afterschool snack. This is a generous recipe, yielding two large loaves. Still, if you have a teenage boy in the house don't count on them lasting long.
Serve warm, with butter or apple butter. To drink: Cold milk, of course.
Make Ahead: Serve one fresh and let the other cool completely, then wrap it tightly in aluminum foil, seal it in a resealable plastic food storage bag and freeze it for up to 3 months.
Yield: Makes two 12-slice loaves
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil, plus more for greasing the loaf pans
- 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (may substitute 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus 2 cups whole-wheat flour), plus more for dusting the loaf pans
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 cup strongly brewed black coffee
- 1 3/4 cups packed light brown sugar
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 12 ounces milk chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Use some oil to generously grease two 5- by 9-inch loaf pans, then dust them with flour, shaking out any excess.
Whisk together the 4 cups of flour, the salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl.
Stir together the mashed bananas and coffee in a medium bowl until thoroughly combined.
Combine the 1 1/2 cups of oil and the brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer or hand-held electric mixer. Beat on low speed until incorporated. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until well blended, then add the vanilla and almond extracts.
Gradually and alternately add the flour mixture and the banana mixture to the beaten egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour one. Do not overmix, or the batter will be tough. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
Divide the batter evenly between the two loaf pans, smoothing the surfaces. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack to cool for 20 minutes before removing the bread from the pans.
Adapted from "The Moosewood Cookbook," by Mollie Katzen (Ten Speed Press, 1977).
Tested by Domenica Marchetti.
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