The world does not need another banana bread recipe.
Banana bread recipes are ubiquitous, and everyone has their favorite rendition (or their mom’s, or their grandmother’s, or their neighbor’s) to rely on when ripe bananas begin to brown on the kitchen counter.
However, last spring, in the midst of lockdown, I needed a banana bread recipe. I wanted to create a breakfast quick-bread to sell in the Hurley House case, and in my mind’s eye, banana bread was the perfect choice.
At Hurley House, during the pandemic, our staff bubble was a source of community and connection when we were not socializing in our normal ways. We talked. We laughed. We discussed new ideas. We fed each other.
One week, while mulling over my breakfast bread idea, conversation turned to banana bread. Everyone chimed in with why their banana bread was amazing. The dialogue quickly escalated, taking on a friendly yet competitive tone. In response, I asked everyone to bake a loaf and bring it into work the next day for a massive banana bread taste test. May the best loaf win!
The results were delicious and eye-opening. Every loaf was different. Some had chocolate chips. Some had butter. Some had nuts. Some had spices or sour cream or sugar sprinkled on top.
I took notes.
I tasted, tasted again, tasted yet again. We laughed, compared, chimed in. The work was satisfying and memorable.
With a belly full of banana bread and a heart full of the stories, I compiled a patchwork of my favorite elements and created a recipe for Banana Bread that made its way onto the Hurley House bakery case in adorable, easy-to-grab mini loaves. It was a pandemic life-saver. Take a loaf to a friend! Eat a loaf for breakfast (or dinner)! Stash a loaf (or twelve) in your freezer!
Today I am sharing the Hurley House Banana Bread recipe with you, not because I think you need another version, but because taste carries memories.
For me, this recipe carries specific memories of a time when community and connection were sparse, and cooking together was nourishing and entertaining.
For you, if you came through the Hurley House drive through during those tumultuous times, you might have enjoyed a mini-loaf or two of this Banana Bread. Baking a loaf might prove to bring back strong memories for you too.
Or, perhaps more fitting, baking this banana bread and sharing it with someone you love will create a new memory, a neural pathway that will become attached to the specific flavors of bananas and brown sugar, baked into a tender loaf. Baking becomes a deposit into a future trip down memory lane.
Hurley House only offers Banana Bread in the bakery case seasonally, but if you need to create or experience a nostalgic taste, I hope you will bake this in your home kitchen and share the bounty with someone you love.
Hurley House Banana Bread
- 4 tablespoons butter room temperature
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 ripe bananas mashed
- 2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- chunky sugar for sprinkling on top optional
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and mix until completely combined. Add the sour cream, vanilla, and bananas. Make sure this mixture is completely combined before adding the dry ingredients.
- Stir in the dry ingredients and mix only until just combined. Scrape the bottom of the mixer bowl to make sure all the batter is evenly combined.
- Portion into greased pans and top with chunky sugar if desired.
- Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (mini pans) or up to an hour (large pans) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.