Quest for the Best Banana Bread – Ontario Style

Like the Falls, our quest keeps on going.

It’s back! Our quest for the best banana bread. This is our sixth installment and we still have a few more recipes to go.  Tonight’s Canadian version was sent to us by A_Boleyn and adapted from Edna Staebler’s Food That Really Schmecks. Edna Staebler is a Canadian author, known for a series of cookbooks which are based on Mennonite home cooking from the Waterloo region of Ontario. It only seemed fitting to include this recipe while we’re on our Ontario cooking adventure.

The recipe began in a familiar way. We creamed the shortening, eggs and sugar in a bowl.

My little sous chef was on hand as usual for the banana bread. She’ll be able to make this stuff in her sleep soon!

After we creamed the ingredients in the large bowl, we added three bananas, buttermilk and almond flavoring to another bowl. Miss A helped to mash-up the bananas for us.

Then, in a third bowl, we sifted together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. We formed the final batter by alternatively adding some of the banana mixture and some of the flour mixture to the large bowl with the eggs and blending it together. Once everything was incorporated, we added it to our loaf pan.

The bread baked for 45 minutes at 350F and resulted in a lighter color banana bread than some of the others.

It was also much less sweet. The almond flavoring gives this bread an entirely different flavor than our similar recipe with the vanilla extract. We served this bread both warm out of the oven and cooled with some butter. We were all really surprised at how different the flavors were in this bread, since up until now the differences have been more subtle.

The bread came in with mixed reviews. Mike and I both gave this one 2 spoons. It was good, but not our favorite. We’re partial to the sweeter variety. The kids gave it 3 spoons. They both noticed that it was not as sweet, but they still enjoyed it. Of course we saved a few slices in the freezer, so we’ll see how it stacks up to the others when we do our final side-by-side taste test. Thanks for sending this in A_Boleyn! And as always, if you have a recipe you’d like us to include…send it our way. Or if you’d like this one, here it is: Buttermilk Banana Bread

36 comments on “Quest for the Best Banana Bread – Ontario Style

  1. I like the sweeter bread too..though I think the amlond taste would be interesting in this one

    • Kristy says:

      It definitely was – I think I’m going to make this again and use it in a French toast as Katherine suggested. That has some serious appeal to me. :)

  2. I am a huge banana fanatic, so banana nut bread is one of my favorite breads to make. I think you should make all 6 recipes and do a blinded taste test for your next banana nut bread post!

    • Kristy says:

      That’s the plan….sort of. I have a few slices of each of the breads we’ve done labeled in the fridge. We’re going to do a blind test sometime before year’s end. :) The kids are so pumped!

  3. spicegirlfla says:

    Miss A is definitely an asset in the kitchen! I love your new header and your photos with the kids are always so adorable! I’m thinking there could be many options for using this less sweet banana bread….like crutons for a salad??

    • Kristy says:

      She’s a hoot in the kitchen. I’m totally missing her while she’s at school (even if it is just a few hours a day). :) Now croutons might be a very fun use for this bread! Love the creativity Linda!

  4. So cute to see little Ms. A growing up! She looks pretty confident with that mixer. ;)

  5. thesanties says:

    Oh the never ending quest for the perfect banana bread!! I’m with you, I like a littler sweeter bread then not. I have also long been on my search for the *perfect* banana bread recipe. I found one that I like a lot, it’s probably in my top 3? I wonder if you might like it? Or might have already tried it? Buttermilk banana bread! It would be so yummy with a cinnamon topping, I think…

    • Kristy says:

      I’ll have to compare this one to the others…if we haven’t yet, I’ll throw it in the mix and add some cinnamon over the top. :) That sounds yummy! Thanks for sending it our way.

  6. I’m a sweet banana bread kind of lady. I bet this one would make a really nice bread pudding or french toast though, since it is less sweet and both of those applications usually call for extra sugar. I’m eagerly awaiting the next installment!! :)

    • Kristy says:

      Now there is an idea!!!! French toast made from a savory banana bread. I’m salivating just thinking about it with some caramelized bananas over the top. Wow!

  7. ChgoJohn says:

    There’s no such thing as bad banana bread, at least around here. If it’s got bananas, I’m going to love it. This recipe is no exception. Thanks for sharing it.

  8. I like sweeter banana bread as well! What a great quest! Fun to get the kids involved!

  9. Caroline says:

    I’m right there with ya…I prefer a sweeter banana bread, especially because I have a massive sweet tooth. I can’t wait to read about the final taste testing of all the breads. Such a great idea. BTW, I just noticed your new header…I love it!!

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Caroline! A designer friend worked it up for us. I love it too! And I’m with you – the sweeter the better. It’s so strange to me to think that before Miss A came along I didn’t really have that big of a sweet tooth. Then during her pregnancy, holy cow! I HAD to have a dessert every night. Fortunately for my waist line I don’t have to have one every night anymore, but the sweet tooth never went away again. :)

  10. I think I’d like the less sweet variety. But really all of them look great. I’m not even a banana guy!

  11. Eva Taylor says:

    I have a banana in the freezer just waiting…I was going to make muffins, but perhaps bread is the way to go. I usually toss in a handful of nuts, but that depends on allergies.

    • Kristy says:

      We’ve certainly got a few banana bread recipes on here for you to try. :) We love nuts in lots of things, but for some reason, not in our banana bread.

  12. I love that you are doing all the work and by that I mean banana bread research for me. I love this quest! Banana bread is a family favorite

  13. Kelly says:

    Yeah, more banana bread questing! Although I’m not a fan of refined flours, I prefer under-sweetened breads so this would earn some big soup spoons from me. I also really like the inclusion of almond essence – lovely touch. The only thing missing, from my pov, is walnut :) yeah nuts!!

    p.s. nothing but sunshine in Maine – so glad we came :)

    • Kristy says:

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying Maine! I can’t wait to hear about it. Do you have a banana bread recipe with unrefined flours we could try? I’d love to compare it to the others. :) Of course we’d have to skip the nuts. LOL!

  14. It’s amazing to think how many different varieties of banana bread there are out there.
    Precious photos of Miss A!
    Have a happy day. :-) Mandy

    • Kristy says:

      Thanks Mandy. She’s my little banana bread chef. Whenever she hears I’m making it, she’s right there in the kitchen – no matter what she was doing before that! I love it!

  15. Charles says:

    I think I’d be a big fan of this one. My wife just made a pound cake. A recipe which was apparently “Elvis Presley’s favourite”, and my God it’s sweet. Talk about sugar overload! Beautiful looking banana bread, even if it didn’t score as highly as the others, and, as always, beautiful pictures!

    • Kristy says:

      LOL! The “King” was known for his sweet tooth. :) This is definitely a more savory banana bread than the others – but other than that, the texture, color, smell was definitely consistent with a typical banana bread. I’m finding this quest so much fun and I mean really there’s no such thing as a bad banana bread. ;)

  16. I know they’re different Banana recipes I’ve come across, so if this one didn’t work out.. I’m sure you can try another one on your quest for the best banana bread :). I just love your family quest and I adore your sous chef :)

    • Kristy says:

      Oh Kay…there really and truly are SO many banana bread recipes. It’s incredible to me. So far we’re really enjoying this quest too and I can’t wait for the taste test!

  17. A_Boleyn says:

    It’s nice that the recipe fit in with your Ontario adventure. I’m not a banana fan so I don’t have much of a basis for comparison but I’m glad that the junior members of the judging panel enjoyed it.

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