Monday, February 22, 2010

Best Banana Bread . . . EVER!

So when my bananas get like this:

I get really excited because I know they're perfect for banana bread! I've made banana bread many times growing up, but it wasn't until I got my America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook several years ago that I found a key a ingredient that I should have been using all along: plain yogurt! And it makes a world of difference. The banana bread turns out SO moist. It has a similar effect as using sour cream, pudding or mayonnaise in baked goods.

So here's how it looks in the pan:


After 10 minutes I moved it to the cooling rack:

This is how I like to enjoy mine - the cream cheese makes it SO yummy!

Here's the recipe:

The Best Banana Bread (courtesy America's Test Kitchen)

Makes one 9-inch loaf.   Published March 1, 1998.   

Greasing and flouring only the bottom of a regular loaf pan causes the bread to cling to the sides and rise higher. If using a nonstick loaf pan, on which the sides are very slick, grease and flour sides as well as the bottom.


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1-1/4 cups toasted walnuts , chopped coarse (optional)
3 very ripe bananas , soft, darkly speckled, mashed well (about 1-1/2 cups)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs , beaten lightly
6 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of regular loaf pan, or grease and flour bottom and sides of nonstick 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. Combine first five ingredients together in large bowl; set aside.

  2. Mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with wooden spoon in medium bowl. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan; bake until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.