This easy banana bread recipe is perfect for novice bakers, or anyone just learning their way around a new oven. (Needless to say, it’s a welcome bit of stress-free snack prep for more seasoned cooks, too!)

It’s also a quick and tasty way to avoid wasting any excess bananas that have been left out to go brown. In fact, the added sweetness of slightly overripe bananas is a bonus here - so don’t be tempted to throw them out, even if they look completely unappetising.

EASY BANANA BREAD

When we say easy, we mean it...

  • Firstly, as noted above, you actually want to start with the ripest bananas you can find.
  • They’ll make the finished bread much sweeter and more moist than fresher ones. Really don’t worry if yours are looking well past it - trust us, they’ll be just fine here.
  • Secondly, the whole point of banana bread is that it’s supposed to be a doddle. Somehow, the finished product seems to actually benefit from a more ‘rustic’ approach.
  • You really can just knock this out in a spare 10min before popping it in the oven to bake for around an hour.
  • In fact, we actively encourage you not to take any longer than that - we want you to fast-forward to those gorgeous oven smells!
  • Thirdly, in keeping with the ‘easy banana bread’ title, note that this is a very flexible recipe. If you haven’t got the exact ingredients to hand in the precise quantities listed below, you can nearly always make up the difference with something similar.
  • All the ingredients below are simple store cupboard basics, but feel free to swap like-for-like things in and out if you need to.
  • Suitable swaps include margarine or oil for butter, brown sugar for white, up to 50% wholewheat or other plain flour instead of white, and any type of dairy or non-dairy milk (even water at a pinch).
  • As long as you end up with roughly the right proportions of wet and dry ingredients, it should work.

Ingredients

  • 3-4 overripe bananas
  • 125g plain flour
  • 8 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 60ml milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Optional: a generous handful of chocolate chips and/or chopped nuts - walnuts work well

Method

  1. Grease a loaf tin and line it with oiled baking paper, leaving extra sticking up at the sides to help you lift out the loaf when cooked. Preheat your gas/electric oven or range cooker compartment to Gas Mark 4, or 180°C on a static oven setting. (You can use fan assisted cooking if you wish, although many bakers prefer to use static heating for baked goods. If using fan assist, drop the temperature to 170°C.)
  2. Melt the butter over a low heat, then transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, and whisk/mix well.
  3. When the butter is cool enough (but still melted), add in the eggs and whisk until completely combined.
  4. Add the milk and vanilla extract, and combine well.
  5. Peel and add your bananas, breaking and mashing them in with a fork. If you’d like some chunkier pieces in the final bread, don’t completely mash them down - if you’d rather the bread be smoother and more even in texture, you can whisk them in as much as you’d like.
  6. Add the flour, salt and baking soda to the bowl. Gently stir these in to combine, without whisking - ideally use a spatula or wooden spoon. Fold and stir until just combined, and no clumps of dry ingredients are visible.
  7. If you’re adding chocolate chips and/or nuts, add these last and again, fold them in gently.
  8. Pour and scrape the batter into your lined loaf tin, then smooth over the top. Bake on the middle shelf for between 50min-1hr, until the top is golden brown. Test with a toothpick from about 45min to check that the inside of the loaf is cooking properly; if it’s still gooey when the top of the loaf is done, you can foil over the top and give it a bit longer, lowering the oven heat a little.
  9. When done, remove from the oven and leave the whole tin to cool for 10min on a wire rack. This helps the loaf to set a little. After 10min, lift it out of the tin gently using the excess baking paper. Put the removed loaf back on the rack, and cool for another 10min before slicing.

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