I’ve made banana bread roughly 473,894,372 times. It’s become a symbol of baking prowess, proof that it isn’t all just cookie dough and blueberry muffins. In college, a friend of mine and I perfected a recipe that included mini chocolate chips and sour cream. We would have”B-Bread Dates,” where we’d congregate in his apartment or my boyfriend’s and bake our little hearts out using Dollar Store bowls and hand-me-down spoons. Some of my favorite memories from college involve that beloved B-bread.
I assure you it is exceptionally easy to totally screw up banana bread. On that point, you might disagree with me – and I hope you do – but I have made some bangin’ bread, and I’ve made some embarrassingly ugly batches. Bread where the outside bakes faster than the inside. Bread that’s too sweet. Bread that’s too dry. Bread that just doesn’t cut it in the fast bread world. Bread that looks like a lady’s woman parts on top (fuel for fodder, yes, but source of pride it is not). (By the by, “va-hoo-ha bread” is caused by too much artificial leavening [baking powder, soda]. You learn something new every day.)
This bread, however.
This bread has all the qualities of your favorite friend: sweet, tender, balanced. This bread is something I can feed my kid, unlike his big sister, the rustic recipe that I developed long before my son’s dairy allergy became an issue. Adapted from something I found on Allrecipes.com, this is what you will be taking to your holiday parties and beaming while people rave about it.
1/3 c sour almond milk*
1/2 c vegetable oil
1 1/4 c mashed ripe bananas
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 3/4 c whole grain white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 c crushed walnuts
In a medium bowl, whisk together almond milk, oil, eggs, and bananas using a fork. In a separate bowl, sift together sugar, flour, and baking soda. Add flour mixture to banana mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until fully incorporated. Pour into a well-greased standard loaf pan and bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 300 degrees and bake 30-40 more minutes. Remove from oven when toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 1 hour in the pan. Remove from pan and slice into thick slices. Serve warm.
*To make sour almond milk: Pour 1 tsp white vinegar into a glass measuring cup. Fill to the 1 c line with almond milk. Do not stir. Allow to rest for 3 minutes before using. Discard or save the rest for future projects (like pancakes!).