So I seriously considered not writing anything today. I thought long and hard about just posting the pictures and recipe. Dropping my mic and walking out. I just couldn’t with the words and the forming sentences. I just wanted to eat and eat and eat more of this AMAZING banana bread.
I’ve been holding out on this recipe because it is so special to me. It’s not because I didn’t want to share. It’s not because I am a banana bread hoarder. Is that even a thing??!!?? It is more that this is my childhood in a loaf pan. Is that a thing??!!?? Basically, banana bread makes me happy.
Every time I make this banana bread, I do a few things differently. I stop doing what ever it is I’m doing, I sit down and enjoy the experience. I have three kids, most meals are on the run. Its not intended to be like that but there is always something going on. Usually meals look like: the kids asking for extra juice/cheese/ketchup- then JB then pours her juice/cheese/ketchup in her food or hair. That is followed up by me running to clean up her mess. Then I sit down again, take a bite and it starts all over. One day I will eat like a normal person again. My mom promised so it must be true. I am keeping the hope alive.
Ever so often I’ll make something and it blows my mind. Isn’t it weird that something as simple as my Grandma’s banana bread can invoke super strong emotions. I get all the feels.
Some recipes hold so many memories for me. Grandma made this every Saturday morning without fail. The house was filled with it. It was a amazing to wake up to that smell. When I was pregnant with Jonathan and I couldn’t hold anything down she made this for me every three days. I literally lived on this bread alone. Amen!
Okay so back to this banana bread though. It has everything in it- nutty brown butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, orange zest, molasses, vanilla, buttermilk and super ripe bananas. I had to stop myself from eating all the batter. Warning: This is an exercise extreme self control.
Can we talk about the smell for just a second? First, I slightly lost my mind when I was making the brown butter. It has the sweetest smells. Then when I measured the cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom and mixed them together. I sat there for another minute just BEING. Then I mixed them altogether … when the banana, mixes with the vanilla and spices and the butter. Bliss!!!
I spent a few minutes wondering how to bottle this little gem. Here is what I worked out- I would spend all day baking banana breads. Then I would capture the smell–put it in a bottle. I wouldn’t sell it. Everyone should have this in their life. It would be like having joy in a bottle. It is comfort in a bottle. Life goals!
Most of the time the best recipes are the simplest. The best recipes are made out of love with the intention of bringing joy, giving you comfort and most importantly filling you. My grandma’s bread always did those things and for that I could never express accurately how special this is.
The Banana Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup buttermilk
- 3 super ripe bananas about 1 1/2 cups
- 1 tablespoon molasses
- 7 ounces unsalted butter melted and browned
- Zest of 1 orange
Brown butter: Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Butter will begin to foam and crackle as it melts. The butter will begin to brown, watch carefully. Stir the butter as it cooks. When the butter browns and begins to smell nutty, remove the pan from the flame and transfer the butter to a bowl. Allow to cool.
Prep: Place the oven rack in the center slot and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients- flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
Smash the banana and molasses together in a bowl. Whisk in eggs, vanilla extract, and buttermilk. Whisk in the cooled browned butter.
Add the wet ingredients, all at once to the dry ingredients. Fold together ingredients, but try not to over stir.
Pour in the batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. I start checking at the 45 minute mark. Remove pan from the oven and allow to sit in the pan for 10 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve slightly warm with butter because why not! Enjoy!