Tuesday, March 2, 2010
I'm always searching for the "perfect banana bread recipe"... something that compares to the best banana bread I've ever had, which was at the Halfway to Hana road stop in Maui while we were on our honeymoon. Probably everything tastes better when you're on a honeymoon traveling through rainforests in a convertible and swimming in waterfalls, however, based on the zillions of reviews online of the place and its mention in the Maui Revealed book, the bread is actually really really good. I've been searching for a copycat recipe ever since our honeymoon to no avail... but last weekend, we had a plethora of ripe bananas and I searched again.
I came across this "Maui Banana Bread" recipe, which I thought would turn out to be one of those Hawaii-esque quick breads that have coconut and macadamia nuts and stuff mixed into banana bread to give it an island taste (whcih is not what I'm looking for at all), but this recipe looked very very simple. No raisins or even cinnamon, just bananas and a few other basics. I noticed it used shortening instead of butter or oil and I thought that maybe this was how they made banana bread in Maui... I doubt that they had a ton of butter on hand decades ago and shortening would sure survive the long boat rides... maybe that's how the people at the Halfway to Hana make it. It was worth a shot! The recipe is from the Hana Maui Botanical Gardens so that was also a great sign that this was going to be authentic and delicious.
I did alter the recipe slightly by adding cinnamon sugar into the buttered loaf pan and swirling it around to coat it, and then pour the rest of the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the batter once it is poured in. I thought it was a great addition and the bread itself is totally awesome. Extremely moist, very banana-y and it is the closest thing I've had that is like the banana bread of my dreams... honestly it's been too long since Maui (3.5 years) so I don't quite remember what the bread tasted like, and this bread could really be it... or at least close. I noticed that it used a cup or so less of flour than other recipes, which I think means it is less bready and more moist and has a wonderfully strong banana flavor compared to your typical slightly dry Bette Crocker type recipe. It's so simple but absolutely fantastic.
Anyway, try it .. I think you will love this recipe. I did bake it about 5 or 10 minutes longer than it called for, I think. Yummy!
Hawaiian/Maui Banana Bread
as found as the recipe from the Hana Maui Botanical Gardens on the 1st Travelers Choice Internet Cookbook website here
1-1/4 cup of flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
3 small very ripe bananas
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
*I also had a few tablespoons of sugar with cinnamon in it which I swirled into the greased pan prior to pouring the batter, and then poured the rest on top of the batter before baking. Yum!
Sift together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda. Blend together bananas, shortening, and eggs. Fold flour mix into blended ingredients ...don't over mix. Spoon into 9 x 9 x 2-inch pan, sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Thump once to remove air holes. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes. Cool. Cut into squares.
I did type in the ingredients and tabulated the calories.... don't look if you don't want to see the bad news... but the whole loaf has 2700 calories in it.
Posted by Kitchen Bliss! at Tuesday, March 02, 2010