Quick & Simple 4-Banana Bread Recipe (that’s easy moist) in 1 Hour
In my opinion, the simple 4-banana bread recipe is a great invention. Its moist and fluffy texture, with soft crumbs is everything you could ask for from a dessert like this.
The simple 4-banana bread recipe is easy to prepare and can accompany you on your morning coffee, afternoon tea or whenever you’re in the mood for a sweet snack.
I will present you the best simple 4-banana bread recipe later on, but first let me start with a little bit of history.
Short History of The Simple 4-Banana Bread Recipe
First of all, before reaching to sweet breads, human started with simple breads. And the first ones were probably made in Neolithic times, 12000 years ago. The bread was actually a mix of grains crushed with stones and water. It was cooked on hot stones and covered with ashes.
Later on, around 4000 BC, the Egyptians discovered that wheat dough ferments helped in cooking a tastier bread. Those ferments (similar to sourdough) produced gases making the loaf much lighter and pleasant.
Second, bananas didn’t make their way easily to Americas. In fact, by the 1800s you couldn’t find many in that area. It was hard to transport these fruits as they ripen very fast. It was only in the 20th century that bananas became available in United States due to the miracle of refrigeration.
They were mainly eaten for breakfast, but also added to desserts especially as a garnish or to decorate some puddings.
So we may say that bananas weren’t much of a star back then. But some things happened and the fruits gained their place into every housewife kitchen.
First, the Great Depression happened. It began in 1929 and went on throughout 1930 so nobody did afford to spoil food. Even rotten bananas were kept and used for various dishes.
Second, the chemical leaveners market began to grow. Because of the mass production they were now available nationwide. It was the first time when everybody had access to baking powder and soda.
This is how the quick banana bread was born. Housewives were willing to add overripe banana to their quick breads (opposed to the yeast breads which were taking much more time to cook).
Many recipes for banana bread were created those years. They appeared in many cookbooks from Pillsbury Flour, Better Homes and Gardens, the United Fruit Company which imported bananas and other.
The best simple 4-banana bread had different characteristics over time, depending on the period.
The recipes may differ from one epoch to another. All of them have in common bananas, of course, flour, a chemical leavener, something to sweeten and some fat.
But this is it!
They are different in many other ways. Some of them ask for apricot jam, others for wheat bran, there are recipes which require grated orange peel or sesame seeds.
In 1930s we can find a banana-nut recipe in “My New Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book”. A cup full of wheat bran is added to the batter. Being inexpensive and fulfilling, wheat bran was extensively used in baked products in that period. However, it gave a harsh texture to the loaf. Also, the bread didn’t contain so much fat or sugar because many people were facing financial difficulties.
In 1946, after World War II, “The Joy of Cooking” published another recipe for an easy moist banana bread. It was obvious that nobody was thinking about delicious and exquisite food but about ratios and how to get through that tough period.
The food was meant to fill bellies and keep the satiety feeling for many hours. This recipe used only one egg, sour or buttermilk. These were both less expensive and easier to find than whole milk. No spices were added.
The 1950s marked and era of growth in the United States. Soldiers came back and went to colleges. Then started families, preferably large ones. Their wives became stay-at-home moms and cooked a lot. “Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book” was a great guidance for them. The simple 4-banana bread recipe from that book was easy to prepare and bake. But it was completely low-sugar, low-fat, not spiced and actually didn’t contain that much banana.
During 1960s-1970s, fluffy banana bread made its way into restaurants. Also more recipes were published those years. “The Moosewood Cookbook” has a very appealing recipe with various ingredients and spices.
It requires sesame seeds sprinkled on the bottom of the baking pan before pouring the batter.
This quick bread includes a lot of flavors such as nutmeg, almond, coffee, vanilla and orange turning it into a delight for the taste buds. Using brown sugar and mashed bananas the loaf gets a bit dark. The texture is moist and dense and probably very tasty.
Although the 1980s brought a lot of ethnic products, such as sushi, pesto, tiramisu or quiche, this didn’t reflect in any evolution of the simple 4-banana bread recipes. The only thing that changed was the flour (from all-purpose to 50% whole wheat flour) and the fat quantity used.
In 1990s the first easy moist banana recipes with nutmeg and cinnamon appeared. The loaves were enormous and they could feed a crowd.
Since 2000s people began dieting. Everybody was (and still is) trying to eat healthier but nobody is willing to give up delicious food as a small pleasure of life. This is why so many versions of quick banana bread were born.
You can now find vegan banana bread, gluten-free banana bread, low-sugar banana bread, almond flour banana bread, sugar-free banana bread and so many others....
You can add countless ingredients to the loaf, starting from nuts (in any form, like walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds) or seeds to chocolate chips, oats, ginger, etc. The list can go on and on.
I will be honest with you: I make banana bread quite often. And this is because I usually buy large amount of bananas which become overripe at some point since we are not able to eat them all. And I feel it’s a pity to throw them away.
So when I’m not using the fruits in smoothies, I cook this basic banana bread. It’s an easy recipe and doesn’t require too much time for mixing the ingredients.
This loaf is extremely versatile: you can enjoy it with your morning coffee. Or as a snack. Or as a dessert. Anytime and anywhere.
It can be packed for school or office. It also can be a great companion for hiking trips. It brings a lot of energy and good mood. And the fact that you can make it however you want to (no sugar, no gluten, no dairy, high protein) is great.
How Ripe Do the Bananas Need to Be for Banana Bread?
Bananas give the dominant flavor to banana bread. What a surprise! So if you want to make the best and simple 4-banana bread recipe, you need to pick the right bananas. My advice is to use overripe bananas for an easy moist banana bread.
When in a grocery store, pass by the perfect yellow banana shelf and go to the reduced-price section. In there you will find soft lemons and bruised apples, but also overripe bananas. The more a banana turns brown, the more flavorful it will be.
However, it is possible that you won’t find this type of fruits. So you will need to make your own overripe bananas. The first thing you can do is to let them ripen at room temperature. But this may take a few days depending on the weather.
In case you want to bake the basic banana bread and didn’t plan ahead, waiting for the bananas to blacken isn’t quite a solution.
Remember that the fruits need to be black. The more ripen, the better.
One option would be to place the bananas in the freezer. They will darken and, by the time you defrost them, they will be soft and juicy. That is perfect for your loaf.
If you want to bake the basic banana bread this very moment and you still don’t have overripe fruits, make some adjustments in the ingredients.
Increase the sugar quantity by 13-15% because your bananas are probably not that sweet. Also salt help enhance flavors, so add with up to 25% more salt. Still, don’t use green bananas. All the above don’t apply in this case.
So... How to Make Banana Nut Bread Recipe?
The recipe is practically the same. As I told you before, this loaf is perfect because you can tailor it to suit your preferences. You may add nuts, seeds, spices and so on.
The nuts should be added after you prepare the batter and fold them easily with a spatula.
How to Make Banana Bread Moist?
There are a few tips to keep a banana bread moist and tender.
- 4 pcs large bananas, mashed (about 2 cups)
- 2 pcs eggs, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ cup walnuts, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a loaf pan or line it with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Mix together the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg in a bowl.
- Beat the sugar and butter for about 2 minutes, until creamy. Add the eggs, one by one. Whisk in the yogurt, bananas and vanilla extract on medium speed.
- Mix in the dry ingredients with the mixer at low speed. Do not overmix, stop when there are no more lumps.
- Fold in the walnuts using a spatula.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and take it to the oven. Bake for about 60-65 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf should come out clean.
- Place the bread on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting it.
- In case you have some leftovers (it is kind of unlikely, but…) keep the fluffy banana bread at room temperature for up to 2 days. It can also be stored in the refrigerator for 1 week.
- It is also possible to freeze the bread and enjoy it after 3 or even 4 months. Let the baked loaf cool completely. Wrap it whole or wrap individual slices in plastic or aluminum foil. Place everything in large bag or container. Put in the freezer. Defrost in the fridge or at room temperature before serving.
- This recipe can be used for making banana muffins too. You will get about 20 muffins. Preheat the oven to 450F. Divide the batter between muffin holes and bake for 5 minutes. Decrease the temperature to 350F and bake for 15-17 minutes more. Just like for the simple banana bread recipe, take the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely before serving.
- You may serve the banana bread just with coffee, tea or a bit of butter. But it tastes extremely delicious if you also prepare a cream cheese frosting out of 4 oz. cream cheese and ¼ cup softened butter. Beat until creamy. Add sugar or 2-3 tablespoons of honey to sweeten. Adjust the taste if needed.