Many moons ago when I lived in Vancouver, I barely cooked for myself, nevermind baked anything. But a friend gave me a basic cookbook back then (I think I was 22 or 23), and I think it was the only one I owned at that time. It was thoughtful, and I flipped through it, but then I shelved it, and that’s where it stayed.
But then one day I had extra ripe bananas. This was definitely in the days of the internet, but it was before you could google “banana bread recipes” and have 2,104,789 recipes pop up in 1.5 seconds. So I went back to this book because I remembered seeing a recipe for a very simple banana bread recipe.
This recipe is one where you should have all of the ingredients in your pantry. But back then, I didn’t. I think the only thing I actually had was the bananas, butter and eggs. No joke. I remember buying the dry ingredients I needed (I also bought a loaf pan – another thing I didn’t own) and coming back to my little apartment and getting to it. Luckily, I knew the basics for how to cook and bake. I learned from very skilled women growing up. I just didn’t ever practise it, hence the lack of tools and ingredients.
Here’s the recipe and instructions from this book. It’s so basic and simple.
I know I could google another recipe and try a new one, but there’s something super nostalgic about this one for me. It reminds me of another time. A totally different life I used to have. But this banana bread always turned out. As much as life has changed for me, I have made this recipe for over 15 years, and it’s always worked. Every single time.
I suppose I’m sharing this with anyone who is intimidated of baking. I feel like this is the perfect baked good to start out with. Maybe you are a single person living on your own for the first time and want to begin to cook and bake for yourself? Or maybe you have a date coming over tomorrow night, and want to impress them when they come over to your place by having some fresh baked bread in the oven, with a glorious smell wafting through your place as they walk through the door. This might be a first time winner for you too.
Here’s how easily it turns out:
Mash up your ripe bananas in a bowl, with a fork.
Add in your eggs, melted butter and sugar and then mix it all up.
Measure out your dry ingredients in another bowl.
Pour the dry into the wet and stir until just combined. See, it’s so easy, even a child can do it.
It should look about like this. Good job Judah.
Then pour the thick batter into a greased loaf pan. Put this into your preheated 350 degree oven. In my oven, it is perfect at exactly 55 minutes. I would suggest checking at 50 minutes already and then go a bit more from there if needed.
55 minutes later, she fell right out of the pan and I set her on a cooling rack for about half an hour or so.
Then I cut er’ up.
And ate some. With butter.
This is the simplest banana bread recipe I’ve ever come across and it works. Literally every time. It’s not fancy, and doesn’t have any exotic ingredients in it. It’s just plain and simple, but so very moist and soft, and it tastes as it should. Like banana bread. I will never use another recipe other than this one. It’s literally burned into my brain and I could make it in my sleep. I don’t have the energy to start with a new one if I wanted to.
Don’t ever feel overwhelmed if you are still learning to bake or cook. There really are easy recipes out there that give you delicious results. I know personally, I have had moments of being very intimidated by watching cooking shows or flipping through fancy cookbooks written by top chefs, where I sometimes wasn’t even sure what some of the ingredients were that they were using! These recipes are wonderful and so worth the effort, but I think most of us are just kind of normal in our skill, and I think it’s ok to be honest about that.
Cooking is part of my everyday life at home now, and over the years I have become better at it the more I tried, and now I have learned to love it. But ‘easy’ is still on an average day to day menu for me, and I will never pretend otherwise.
What is your easiest and best go-to recipe that you can’t live without? Send it to someone, or share it on social media. I bet your simplest recipe will be used more than any fancy-pants, artsy-fartsy, ‘don’t know what it even is’ recipe out there. And we all will want to make it!
– The Homesteaders Wife