There is a certain professor at the law school who has a name for what a court will give you if you go to it asking for a remedy it doesn’t have the power to grant: a “Writ of TOUGH BANANAS.” Well, every time he says this I think to myself, “That seems kind of harsh.” If I were a judge, I would never issue a Writ of Tough Bananas. I would issue a Recipe (nay, Wrecipe) for Delicious Banana Bread.
I think every good citizen should have a foolproof recipe for banana bread, so if you don’t have one, get ready to write this down! This recipe was my Great Grandma Pearl’s, and I have no idea why it’s called “St John’s Banana Bread.” Maybe Saint John baked when he wasn’t baptizing?
I have this giant pile of bananas because they were left over at a 5K I helped out with last Saturday. (I was originally going to run the 5K, but……they needed help signing people in and, uhh, I had a big meal the night before.) I am very opportunistic when it comes to free produce, so I scooped up as many as I could carry. It never hurts to have overripe bananas in your freezer, my friends. They are perfect for baking, smoothies, and BANANA SOFT SERVE.
Normally I would try to take this recipe and decrease the sugar, add some whole wheat flour, etc. But there are a few cards in my recipe file I just don’t mess around with, and this is one of them. I follow it to the letter, and it never lets me down. (Except for the fact that my mom clearly wrote “4 mashed bananas” on the recipe card, and that’s crazy talk. It’s 2—see the recipe below.)
This is so easy there’s really no need for step-by-step photos. Just do me a favor and DON’T forget to butter the top of the loaf and sprinkle it with sugar right after you take it out of the pan. This step is mandatory, and if you skip it, both Great Grandma Pearl and I will be very disappointed.
Oh, and one final note—if you have two loaf pans and a plethora of bananas, you might as well just double the recipe. It’s no extra work, and then you could give a loaf away to someone. I think banana bread is the perfect baked good for gift-ing—it’s easy to transport, most people like it, and it just says “Hey, I think you’re really neat and you deserve a good breakfast and/or snack.”
St. John’s Banana Bread
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, room temperature
- 1 c. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 c. flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 large, overripe bananas, mashed (You want a little over a cup)
Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and continue mixing until well-combined. Fold in the dry ingredients, and then the mashed bananas. Pour the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan and bake for one hour* at 350. Remove from the pan immediately, butter the top of the loaf, and sprinkle with sugar.
*I usually bake this for the full hour, but you might want to check it at around 55 minutes or so. If you over-bake, you really will have Tough Bananas, and that would be a shame.
Onward and upward! Until next time, fair friends.