It took me approximately four days into quarantine before I made my first loaf of banana bread. I had three bananas that were begging to be made into bread and I couldn’t resist. Then, I noticed that many of my friends were also baking banana bread while staying at home. Golden brown loaves of goodness flooded my feeds. There were chocolate versions, versions striped with cream cheese, and plenty of traditional banana bread too.

As I thought about this banana bread phenomenon and why people chose to make it instead of other breads, it occurred to me that banana bread is a creative project with a positive outcome within an hour. In a world of uncertainty, there is the steadfast promise of banana bread.

Pair that with the inevitable spoiling of bananas when the masses purchase more food for fewer trips to the store, banana bread stands out as the clear winner amongst other comfort foods.

Banana bread is comfort food that fulfills every sense. When I made my last loaf, this one, I picked three bananas off of the bunch and placed them in my window sill to ripen. I’m not sure if it was my impatience or their desire to actually be eaten as a healthy fruit, but these bananas seemed to take weeks to ripen. When they were finally ready, it was a beautiful morning and I had just washed several cartons of berries. I decided these berries needed to be part of the bread as well.

That’s another great thing about banana bread – it sure is versatile. So, I embarked on Berry Banana Bread. I chose to use blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. You could use other berries, but if you use strawberries be sure to coat them in flour first so they don’t sink to the bottom of the pan while baking.

The first thing you’ll want to do is preheat your oven to 350°F and grease a 9×5 loaf pan. Then cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer.

Next, add the eggs to this mixture and combine with the mixer. Then you’ll add the bananas and lemon juice to the mixer using a handheld whisk. Do not overmix the bananas, you still want texture in the batter. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure that all the ingredients are combined well.

At this point, you will slowly fold your dry ingredients into the banana batter. Ideally, you will sift those dry ingredients together before slowly folding them into the batter. I did not do that.

Once that is combined, fold your berries in using a rubber spatula. Be careful to not break your berries up as you fold them.

Finally, pour your batter into your prepared pan. I chose to add a few blueberries on the top of my loaf for a garnish and baked it for roughly 50 minutes.

This bread is amazing served warm or at room temperature, but don’t count on it lasting more than a day – everyone will come back for seconds.

Ingredients

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 medium bananas
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh berries

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add eggs to the butter mixture, beat until combined.
  5. Add mashed bananas, lemon juice, whisk until fully combined. Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  6. Using a rubber spatula, fold dry ingredients into the banana mixture and mix just until combined.
  7. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the mixed berries.
  8. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out mostly clean, with no raw batter onto it.
  9. Allow to cool as long as your self-restraint allows.
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