It’s finally time! Thirteen recipes and nearly a year later, here we are at our final banana bread showdown. As many of you know we began our quest for the best banana bread last spring. It all started with the Big Bird banana bread years ago that I would make with my dad. Then for years without any banana bread at all, we were introduced to Doree’s banana bread and became convinced it was the best. And so the quest was born…
We certainly didn’t come close to touching the millions of banana bread recipes out there, but we did try a variety of often vastly different loaves on this journey. Starting with our Peanut Butter banana bread, we baked 13 loaves and saved several slices of each wrapped up carefully in our freezer. Just before leaving for our trip, we pulled out the slices to thaw, and you should have seen the kids bursting with excitement at the site of all the bags strewn across the table.
The slices all thawed rather quickly and didn’t appear to have suffered any freezer burn. We then wrote the name of each bread on the bottom of the plate, so that we couldn’t let any of our personal biases influence our votes and cut each slice into quarters. We then stuck a post-it to each plate to record our spoon ratings for each slice and dug in!
It was a virtual banana bread buffet and absolutely heaven for the kids (oh who am I kidding – us too!). While the kids would have liked to just start eating as fast as possible, we slowed them down and sampled one slice at a time by either eating our whole serving, or just a taste and then recording our votes. After our first few samples we were very pleased to discover that they had all upheld their taste and texture in the freezer as well.
Then, after a few more slices, we noticed that Miss A was actually eating every single serving – not just having a taste. Now while this might seem normal for most kids (Mr. N included), Miss A is not a big eater. She’s much more likely to pick at a bit of everything and she rarely clears her plate. So I commented, “Wow! I’ve never seen you eat like this!” to which Mr. N replied, “Oh I have. She eats like this all the time at the Chinese restaurant with Nana and Papa.” Apparently, we’re just not cooking the right things around here.
So after Miss A finished 13 pieces of banana bread, which if you’re doing the math adds up to 3-1/4 total slices, we were ready to tally the results. Some fared well, others not so well, but the spoons were clear. The final results…Well, let’s just say we were both affirmed and surprised! Stay tuned because first we have a run down of the delicious contestants.
Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Martha Stewart Banana Bread (courtesy of my friend Liz)
Cinnamon Banana Bread (courtesy of Laura at Manna & Quail)
Bewitching Banana Bread (courtesy of Sally at the Bewitching Kitchen)
Sweet Caroline’s Banana Bread (courtesy of Sweet Caroline’s Cooking)
First Look, Then Cook Banana Bread (Courtesy of Dawn at First Look, Then Cook)
Big Bird Banana Bread(Thanks Dad!)
And now for the big reveal…dum, da, da, dum…
And for the surprise…
Betwitching Banana Bread! It was a two-way tie for first place!
We should have known…Sally does know her way around bread (and bananas!).
But let’s be honest here, there really were no losers. Every single recipe was delicious in its own right. This is just one family’s humble take on the “best banana” bread and in reality, I think we’ll likely be adopting our favorite parts of several different recipes in what will ultimately become a new banana bread recipe to add to the mix. That said, I think we’re a tad bit banana-breaded out for now…I can’t even begin to describe how full we were after that event!
Thanks to everyone who followed along and shared their recipes in our quest. We had a great time and I don’t think any of us will ever forget it! So enjoy – we hope that you find your “best banana” bread too. And stay tuned, Saturday we’ll announce our next “quest!”
(And dad – the Big Bird Banana Bread is still my favorite when it comes right down to it!)