Growing up, I was always good at math. But as an adult, there is one formula I simply cannot master–how many bananas to buy. Mathematically it looks something like this: (# of bananas each family member will eat per day) x (# of days before bananas will go bad) – (# of bananas I will eat from my office kitchen) = # of bananas I should buy. You can practically see the gears turning as I stand in front of the banana display at the grocery store. Of course I also have to factor in each family member’s preferred level of banana ripeness (ranging from “just ripe” for Jake to “almost banana bread worthy” for me). And then there’s the weather–if it’s humid at all, the bananas will ripen faster than we can eat them, throwing the previously mentioned equation out the window. Not that the formula is perfect anyway, as evidenced by the amount of bananas currently residing in my freezer waiting to be mashed into a smoothie (I hate washing the blender) or ice cream substitute (come on…there’s no substitute for ice cream…).
I decided to make banana bread with this week’s batch of overripe bananas. Here’s the thing about banana bread: I don’t love it–I “nothing” it (when I told my husband this, he said he learns something new about me every day. He always thought I liked banana bread since I make it often—but I only make it so I won’t waste my overripe bananas!). It’s not that I don’t like breads. I love my mom’s zucchini bread (she puts chocolate chips in it and no nuts–it’s scrumptious!). I love any kind of cinnamon bread. I love Arlene’s Pumpkin Bread. But banana bread I can take or leave. I’m always searching for that “perfect banana bread recipe that will make me want to come back for seconds”. And now I found it.
I came up with this recipe by combining some of the components of Arlene’s Pumpkin Bread with a banana bread recipe I’ve made before (with good but not amazing results). Voila! Perfect banana bread that had me coming back for seconds.
But wait, there’s more! This banana bread has a crumb topping that just makes it over-the-top good. No joke—this is literally the first loaf of banana bread that my family finished. Ever. Jay, Jake and I all had more than one slice (usually the boys have one piece, say they like it, and never touch it again. And I eat and/or freeze the rest.) We just kept eating it until it was gone. Since nothing is off limits in my house, we also took a few pieces, put them on a buttered griddle, and fried them up like French toast minus the egg. And then put syrup on them. And then died and went to heaven.