Banana bread is more like a cake than a bread, but because we call it bread, we can eat it for breakfast, right? At this time of year, when we’re all a bit too busy and sleep deprived for breakfast, it’s a perfect snack to make ahead of time so you can have a quick bite as you run out the door. If you have an extra 30 seconds, spread a small layer of cream cheese or butter on top and put it in the microwave for ten seconds.
Breads like this one are simple. The recipes don’t require obscure ingredients, and they can be prepared quickly. For this particular banana bread, I added some peanut butter for a more filling breakfast snack. The additional peanut butter adds moisture to the bread, so be sure to let it cool for as long as your will power allows before removing it from the loaf pan — about thirty minutes should do it.
2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 ripe bananas
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips
Most of these ingredients I had around the house already, but none are expensive if you need to hit the grocery store. If you have to buy bananas, make sure they’re ripe and soft; many grocery stores have discounted ripe bananas for sale. If they don’t, be sure to pick a bunch that have no green and at least a little brown on the peel. You’ll also need a loaf pan, which is generally about 9×5 inches. If you choose to use a different pan (muffin, cake, round, etc.) the cooking time will vary.
Preheat the oven to 350 F and spray the pan with oil and dust with flour — use more than you think you need because the bread tends to stick.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
In a separate bowl, beat the butter and the sugars. If you don’t have a hand or standing mixer, use a fork or your hands to combine them.
Mix in the peanut butter and bananas, then add the egg and vanilla extract.
Slowly add the flour mixture just until combined; don’t overmix or the bread won’t rise.
Once mixed, add the milk and then stir in the chocolate chips.
Fill the loaf pan and throw it in the oven for 55 minutes.
Before removing, gently poke the loaf with a toothpick or knife; if it comes out clean, without any batter stuck to it, the bread is ready.
To remove the bread from the pan, slide a knife around the edges and turn the pan over onto a plate. If it was oiled and floured enough, the loaf should slide right out. The banana, peanut butter, and chocolate flavors mix fantastically in this bread and it makes a great alternative to skipping breakfast. Have a slice or two before your next test and post your pictures on our Facebook page, facebook.com/MSUExponent.