Just when you think you’ve tried every banana bread recipe in the book, along comes this very dark banana bread recipe from The Fairmont Hotel. Carolyn from Canada has been making it for years, and wanted to share it because it's a little bit different.
Low Temperature Banana Bread Bakes at 275
What’s unique about this Low Temperature Banana Bread is that it’s baked at a very low temperature for 2 ½ hours. So It bakes at 275 and calls more baking soda than other recipes. Also, instead of adding the flour alternately with the milk, you add the flour alternately with the eggs. That seems like a minor thing, and maybe it is, but sometimes small changes in technique matter.
So what happens when you bake at a low temperature, use a lot of baking soda and add very little air to the batter? You get a really dense, sturdy, but moist banana bread that slices neatly and is great toasted. Another interesting change that occurs is the color. The bread appears to have cocoa powder or brown sugar in it, but the brown color is most likely due to the reaction of the baking soda.
Thanks to Carolyn for sharing this recipe. If you try it, make sure to really grease and flour the pan.
Update and Baking Soda Note
Update: I still make this recipe often. The first version calls for a huge amount of baking soda and the bread comes out a deep brown color. Some people perceive the baking soda flavor as lemon, while others just like the long finish. Honestly, I'm not even sure the amount of baking soda listed on the original recipe is correct, so sometimes I make it with much less. With less baking soda, the bread is less crusty and not as brown.
Low Temperature Banana Bread
- 2 large 8 oz/ 230 grams bananas
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons 8 ounces/ 230 grams of granulated sugar
- 3 ½ teaspoons baking soda I only use 2 teaspoons now**
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons 8 ounces/230 grams all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla optional
- ¼ cup toasted and chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan, line with parchment paper and grease the parchment. Dust with flour. This is important, because the loaf is rather sticky!
- In a blender, puree the bananas, sugar and baking soda.
- Empty banana mixture into a mixing bowl. Mix in the eggs and the flour alternately, stirring until well blended.
- Mix in the oil, buttermilk and salt, beating with a spoon until blended and smooth. Add the vanilla (if using) and the nuts.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 2.5 hours (though check for doneness at 2). Let cool completely, then carefully remove from the pan. If baking at 300, check at 1 .5 hours.
- Internal temperature of banana bread should be around 205 so if you are not sure you can stick a probe in it to test.