loading up on comfort [recipe: buttermilk banana bread]

Considering that four out of five of my recent posts involved cinnamon in one form or another, I’m pretty sure everyone is well aware of my obsession addiction love for cinnamon, yes? Now before you groan and roll your eyes, don’t worry, this one doesn’t contain even a smidgen of cinnamon;– there are just certain things my cinnamon won’t touch with a ten-foot pole, thank you very much. And yet, this is something very dear to my heart, not unlike my fascination for brownie wrinkles. You see, there are those who spend their lives searching for that perfect chocolate chip cookie that floats their boat, some who just simply can’t get enough of trying out different brownie recipes hoping to find one with the much-yearned-for texture, and then there are quite a few who, much like myself, believe that when it comes to comfort food, one can never have enough recipes in their repertoire, each a deserving winner in its own right. But of course not many people would be in the frame to fathom, let alone appreciate, the need for having four to five different variations of banana bread.

I reckon it all hinges on your definition of ‘comfort food’. Personally, comfort food is what I crave for and turn to when I just need a little respite from everything around me. Consider it a form of epicurean escapism, in not so many words; somewhat a security blanket, though not quite in the sense of Winnicott’s transitional object theory, but rather, something I know I can easily fall back upon after having had hordes of frosted sweet treats, upon recuperating from a cold, or simply some quiet company over some magazine flipping.  In many instances, there are others who perceive comfort food as the concomitant emotional relief that pivots largely upon the nostalgic senses, hence the longing for a specific replicate of flavour from the past. Whilst most of us struggle with searching for the familiar flavours we either grew up with, or played a significant role in our lives (remember the HIMYM’s Best Burger in New York episode?), there are a few lucky ones who, like Saveur magazine’s assistant kitchen director, receives comfort via a familiar handwritten note listing ingredients and method. Aptly named ‘Mom’s Banana Bread’, I have chosen to rename it purely on two grounds; — firstly, I am in no way affiliated to the Mims household, and secondly, the buttermilk factor is clearly the star behind this exceptionally moist banana bread recipe. Completely wiped out within hours, is there any surprise banana bread is my comfort food?

Buttermilk Banana Bread
(recipe adapted from Saveur, issue #129)

1 cup flour
3⁄4 tsp baking soda
1⁄4 tsp salt
1⁄2 cup brown sugar
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup canola oil
1⁄3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 banana, sliced

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Grease and flour a 9″ x 5″ x 
2 3⁄4″ loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. Whisk together sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla, egg, and egg yolk in a medium bowl until smooth.
  4. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.
  5. Add mashed bananas and whisk gently to combine.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and arrange banana slices on the surface of the batter.
  7. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean, 60–65 mins. Let cool for 30 mins before slicing and serving.
Butter, for greasing pan
1 cup flour, plus more for pan
3⁄4 tsp. baking soda
1⁄4 tsp. kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup canola oil
1⁄3 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
2⁄3 cup chopped pecans
3 very ripe bananas, mashed

19 thoughts on “loading up on comfort [recipe: buttermilk banana bread]

  1. the mister

    Completely wiped out within hours…

    Yep, I think I had a hand in that too! 😀

    These were gooooooood! Ever since I joined the Cinnamon FTW Club, there has been no looking back!

    Speaking of which, I see you…


    …chewy chocolate / cinnamon chip cookies sitting prettily in a jar!

    DA MOOTIES are back in town!!!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      HAHAHA! Spoiler, much? 😛 Abih, dah pressure, dah pressure. Hopefully the constellations will be on my side, and I’ll be able to take shots of them before they’re completely wiped out. Though I have to admit if this time they’re gone, it’d probably be thanks to me *looks guilty*

  2. biz319

    I’ve never thought to add buttermilk to banana bread, but I am book marking this to make asap. It looks amazing and I can only imagine how good this is going to be. Thanks for sharing!

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Not a problem 🙂 When I read buttermilk in the ingredient list, I literally went ‘Why didn’t I think of that?!’. I felt like I’ve been missing out on so much in the banana bread arena 😛

  3. Joanne

    One should never underestimate the power of a good banana bread. I made two loaves for an old boyfriend in the middle of a HUGE fight once…instant forgiveness. THat stuff is crazy powerful. I love the sound of this buttermilk version! I’ll definitely be trying it.

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      I love your story! Sounds like the perfect tale behind the slogan ‘Make Banana Bread, not War’ 😛 Hey, if there’s World Peace Cookies, banana bread ought to be given recognition for bringing the love together too!

  4. samantha

    do you think using buttermilk substitute (ie. milk with vinegar/lemon juice) would work for this recipe? 🙂

    1. ovenhaven Post author

      Jun: Oh then you should definitely give it a try! My mom loves banana bread too, though perhaps not as much as my dad who requests it each time, and they both enjoyed this 🙂

      rebelwithoutasauce: From our favorite dollar store, of course! 😉

      samantha: Yup, definitely. I used milk+lemon juice for this one 🙂

  5. Janine

    must be luck because i happen to have bananas lying on the counter which are too ripe to eat and i was looking for a simple banana (something) recipe. trying it later in the day 😀 and your photos look exquisite, as usual 🙂

  6. Irene Carrick

    I love, love, love this banana bread. Super moist. I’m throwing away all my banana bread recipes. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Pingback: Banana Cake with Malt Frosting | bakerisbetter

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