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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Maui Banana Bread


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
2 eggs

*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.

25 comments:

  1. It's been 12 years since my honeymoon and I still think about that banana bread too! I actually made almost this exact recipe today as it was called "the best banana bread ever" on a blog I came across....it is really delicious!!

    As a side note, I feel like the banana bread from the halfway stop had something red in it-I always thought it was some kind of berry...mysterious :)

    Thanks for bringing back good memories!!
    Dawn

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  2. I'm off to make this recipe immediately...I also had a small loaf of this bread while in Maui (where my husband proposed). Its was highly recommended to my by my parents who traveled there for the 30th wedding anniversary. Its been almost 2 years since we were there and I've searched everywhere for this recipe! THANKS SO MUCH for sharing it!

    -Karma

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  3. It's so great to hear your stories, I hope you enjoy the recipe and let me know if you find a better one! I will have to get back to Maui some day for another taste test. :)

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  4. Thanks for posting!

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  5. I vacationed in Maui nine years ago with the family. We, too, had and loved the banana bread on the road to Hana! I made this recipe twice, the second time just came out of the oven a few minutes ago. I have a few of my kids with their friends over, and the whole thing was devoured in those few minutes. I took my piece as I was taking it out of the pan, thankfully, or I would have missed out! Thank you so much for the recipe.

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  6. I was there too with my girlfriends on a college trip and I have never forgotten that bread! It was the BEST BANANA BREAD EVER! I have some over ripe bananas and it's a rainy day, so I think I'm going to attempt!

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  7. I hope everyone is enjoying the bread! I was just thinking about making it again with my niece and realized the reason I probably need to cook it 5-10 minutes longer is I have been using a loaf pan, not a 9x9x2 that they mention in the recipe. Thought I'd point that out, in case it helps anyone. Yum!!

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  8. I substituted brown sugar (in slightly smaller quantity) and I think it turned out well. I also happened to have some extra ripe mini-bananas, which I think are part of the secret to the Maui bread's deliciousness, as they seem sweeter and more flavorfull than the bananas common in supermarkets.

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  9. I was in Maui 3 weeks ago and I to fell in love with half way Hana's banana bread. I think one of the big secrets is how moist the bread is as well as the slight Hawaiian flavor. Possibly crushed pineapple and coconut. I will try your recipe both this way and with added fruit. I will let you know

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  10. Just returned from Maui and I started searching for a recipe similar to what we had on our way to Hana. Everything I abe found seems too fruity and nutty compared to what we ate there. Can't wait to try this simple recipe. I do agree with the earlier post...I thought I spotted something red as well. But, definitely happy to try this one! Now if I could just figure out that coconut candy:)

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  11. OMG - Fantastic! Just pulled in out of the oven and MY OH MY! I went to visit my daughter in Maui last month, and she introduced me to the "Road to Hana" banana bread. Could not stop thinking about that bite of heaven after I came home. Well - this recipe is EXACTLY what I was looking for tasting just like the island bread! I don't keep shortening on hand, so I substituted salted butter and reduced the salt to 1/4 teaspoon. I will certainly make this again. Too good not to share - yet too good to share!

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  12. I have to say you have a real winner here. Thank you soooo much for sharing this wonderful recipe with us. I also went to Hawaii and remember having the best banana bread there. I was searching high and low for a recipe similar to the bread I had tasted there. Nothing tasted like that banana bread, until I came across your blog. It is wonderful! I cannot thank you enough! This is now my go to recipe!

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  13. Just returned from Maui and some recipes have the marchinno cherries.

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  14. I just made this recipe and it is exactly like the Halfway to Hana banana bread! We went to Hawaii in July and I am SO glad to have this recipe! Thank you for sharing!

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  15. I have lived on Maui all my life and this is the first I've heard of this banana bread.

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  16. I first saw this post a year ago and loved it so very much! When ever I am ready for banana bread, I search for this post and I'm off to baking again and again! Thank you for this recipe!

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    Replies
    1. Me too! I reduce the sugar to 3/4 cup and its still sooo delicious!

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  17. Thanks for all of your comments! I always come back to this recipe as well! Now we just need to travel back to Maui and take some close up photos so we can see about this mysterious "red" ingredient!

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  18. Just came back from Maui today with 3 loaves of the banana bread. So glad to have found this recipe. Will try it before we eat the loaves so we can compare. Will let you know what happens.

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  19. I'm a little late to the party here, but do you have a volume measurement for the mashed bananas? About a cup?

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  20. I wonder if she subs coconut oil for the shortening? Would that even be possible? I could have sworn there a touch of coconut in there. Fortunately, I have half a loaf in the kitchen right now from our recent trip.

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  21. Probably everything tastes better when you're on a honeymoon traveling through rainforests in a convertible and swimming in waterfalls, however limo maui

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  22. a 9X9X2 isn't a loaf pan. It's more like a sheet pan. I want loaves. Can I substitute?

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    1. Yes! I regularly use a loaf pan, it takes longer to bake. I also have used muffin pans and mini muffin pans with great success. Still make this recipe regularly and it's great for non-dairy diets.

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    2. how long do you cook when you substitute it for a loaf pan?

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