Mark Bittman’s Banana Bread

“This banana bread from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything” is really something special. One-fourth of the flour is whole wheat, which contributes a kind of depth you’d miss if it weren’t there. There are walnuts — not unusual, but again, you’d miss them if they weren’t there, And the key, secret ingredient, is coconut. Which really puts the thing over the top.”

Banana Bread

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, plus some for greasing the pan
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork until smooth
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
  • ½ cup grated dried unsweetened coconut

Preparation

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Mix together the dry ingredients. With a hand mixer, a whisk, or in the food processor, cream the butter and beat in the eggs and bananas. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients; stir just enough to combine (it’s okay if there are lumps). Gently stir in the vanilla, nuts, and coconut.
  3. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until nicely browned. A toothpick inserted into the center of the bread will come out fairly clean when it is done, but because of the bananas this bread will remain moister than most. Do not overcook. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.

~Mark Bittman