Madeline, my two-year old niece, is a pretty picky eater. I don’t live very close to her, so when I do see her (and her mom and dad) a loaf of not-too-sweet banana bread is my offering. Early on when she couldn’t talk at all, some homemade banana bread was one of the ways I could connect with her. Once she had a taste, she would start smiling and waving her hands up and down. The final confirmation of her approval was when she would help herself to another bite by grabbing a mass of the sliced bread out her mom’s hands…score!
I’m convinced that baking banana bread makes any place instantly feel like home, and any person eating it that much more in touch with their inner child. After all, that yummy smell of bananas whiffing out of the oven is one of the most comforting smells around.
I usually make a very straight forward recipe for banana bread, but this time I decided to make it with a slight Asian twist. I’ve thrown in a healthy dose of mochiko, or sweet rice flour, to add some body and toothy bounciness to the bread. I’ve also added in some regular all-purpose wheat flour, as using only sweet rice flour results in a very heavy loaf that’s actually a bit too chewy. For me, a good banana bread is always tender and only moderately dense, so it’s important to differentiate that the chewiness of this loaf should come from the mochiko and not because the regular flour in the batter has been over mixed.
You’ll notice that this banana bread isn’t super sweet. If you prefer, you can increase the sugar to a 1/2 cup, but my suggestion is to try it as is and work from there. You’ll be better able to appreciate the natural sweetness of the bananas this way, especially since you’ll be using 6-7 of them! And of course, my niece would probably tell you that this is the way she prefers her banana bread (if she could manage to put the words together).
If you love mochi cake and all the soft chewiness that comes with it, you must try this Mochi Banana Bread! The best I can describe its texture is that it’s as if tender, fragrant banana bread and smooth, chewy mochi cake had a child. My second best way of describing it is to say it’s like banana bread took a vacation to Hawaii. Either way, this recipe is both simple and special, and might just become your favorite go-to banana bread recipe!
Makes 1 loaf.
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 mochiko (sweet rice flour)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups very ripe bananas, mashed (about 6-7 medium bananas)
2 eggs, @ room temperature, beaten
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
9″ x 5″ loaf pan
medium and large mixing bowls
1.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray loaf pan evenly with non-stick spray. In a medium bowl, mix together all-purpose flour, sweet rice flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl, mix together mashed bananas, eggs, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla.
2.) Gradually mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients until all ingredients are just evenly incorporated, but not over mixed. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
3.) Bake the loaf for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack to cool until easy to handle, then remove loaf from pan and place directly on cooling rack to finish cooling.