After much experimentation and trial & error, I have come up with what I consider to be the perfect recipe for banana bread. It is moist, with lots of banana flavor, and holds together really well. It has a "secret" ingredient. It's not really secret, since I'm happy to share it with others, but it is rather surprising. The surprise ingredient is .... baby food!
No, not the yucky strained peas kind, LOL. This is the dry baby cereal. I usually use oatmeal, but you can also use rice cereal or mixed grains cereal. The oatmeal helps hold the bread together very well, allowing me to use more bananas without having mushy bread.
1 1/3 cups flour
2/3 cup dry baby cereal
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 to 3 cups mashed overripe bananas
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine flour, cereal, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar well. Stir in eggs and bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake at 350 for 65-70 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.
I like to wrap my bread in aluminum foil after it's cooled for about 1 hour. I think it retains more moisture that way.
I came up with this recipe out of necessity. My daughter used to be on WIC and we got TONS of dry baby cereal, way more than she could ever eat. I didn't want to throw it away, and I figure the food shelf can only use so much of it, so I started adding the cereal to various recipes to see what would happen. Note to self - it does not work so well for cookies.
You could of course add nuts, if you like banana nut bread. My kids hate it with nuts, so I never make it that way.