Double Dutch Banana Bread ((baked in a jar))
I have been using the same banana bread recipe for over 20 years. One of the things mom gave me when I left home ((to get my Master’s at SMU)) was book of cooking instructions, tips and simple recipes. I still have it — somewhere, I am sure ((but this move has me all out-of-order — in more ways than one)). Along with the book, she made sure I had a few basic recipes meatloaf, fudge… and banana bread.
Every time I baked banana bread in that tiny old apartment, I could close my eyes, take in the familiar, sweet smell floating from the oven & just for a few moments – I was home. Homesick is a horrible feeling, but somehow baking banana bread eased the pain. Over the years, I have tweaked the recipe – lessened the oil, removed the nuts ((sorry dad)) and added something that has transformed mom’s banana bread into decadent treat…streusel topping ((but it’s still mom’s & probably Betty’s too…)).
I always make a double batch – that way I have enough to share and plenty to enjoy! ((But pictured below, to avoid confusion, are the single batch quantities.))
Lemon zest may be considered optional in other banana bread recipes you’ve read — but it is essential for my recipe.
One little tip for dealing with ripe bananas:
- Mine always seem to be ripe when I am walking out the door ((never ever when I have 2 hours to leisurely bake to my heart’s content)). So here’s what I do: peel, bag & refrigerate for up to one week. Otherwise, plunk them in the freezer. I have left the peels on and froze ripe bananas before – it’s yuck, slimy yuck.
Once it’s time to mash – just mash the fire out of them in the same baggie you stored them in. If I weren’t baking this bread at 11:15 pm, I would have let the kiddos do this part — they would love it! Oh, and speaking of 11:15 pm — guess how many times I had to go to the grocery store to get ingredients for this banana bread?? THREE TIMES!! I needed parchment paper ((making it fours trips)) – but I refused to go again & just used extra Baker’s Joy.
Now, for the good part: streusel. The key for the streusel topping is to make more than you think you should. Almost as much streusel as batter. Typically, I make 2 loaves of bread, this night I tried something new: banana bread in jars. I poured the batter into 7 jars ((all I had)) and made one regular loaf.
Mom found a great recipe for banana bread in jars – it is slightly different from my recipe & I just stuck with mine. Mom said, “Well this will be a problem for your streusel topping – it will only be on the very top. Once you cut it in half the person who gets the bottom half gets no streusel.” Well, that won’t work! Streusel for everyone!! Drop a heaping tablespoon ((or 2)) of the mixture in the bottom of each jar, pipe batter into the jar – filling each jar only halfway, top off with another heaping tablespoon ((or 3)) of streusel. Place jars ((make sure they aren’t touching)) on a baking sheet & into a preheated oven.
If top and bottom streusel is good enough for jars – then it is perfect for the loaf pan too! So sprinkle 1 cup one streusel on the bottom of the loaf pan too.
Now, for the hard part: try not to eat all of the streusel BEFORE it makes its way into the oven. YUM!! I like for the streusel to be about 1″ thick ((hey, I cut that oil down in the bread – I am just bringing it back, with butter baby!)).
- 1 c mashed ripe bananas (2 medium bananas)
- 1/3 c oil (I like canola)
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 c sugar
- 1 t lemon zest (about half of the zest from a large lemon)
- 1 1/2 c all purpose flour
- 3/4 t baking soda
- 1/2 t kosher salt
- 1 c oats (I used organic raw oats)
- 1 c flour
- 1 c packed brown sugar
- 1 t kosher salt
- 1 stick butter (softened to room temp)
- Preheat oven to 325°. Prepare loaf pan or 6-8 oz. size jars by spraying with Baker's Joy ((or coating with butter or non-stick cooking spray and dusting with flour)).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. In another medium bowl, gently whisk together dry ingredients. Add dry ingredients to wet, 1/2 to 1 c at a time. Do not over mix - mix until the dry is no longer visible ( a few lumps are no problem).
- In the same bowl that held the dry ingredients, combine streusel topping ingredients & mix with a fork until combined.*
- Spoon 1 (or 2) heaping T of streusel into the bottom of each jar. Pipe in about 1/2 c of batter** & top with another heaping T (or 2) of topping. Make sure batter doesn't drip down the sides (whether inside or out side)) and doesn't get on the mouth of the jar. If it does, clean the jar before pacing it in the oven ((it will burn)). Place (evenly spaced) jars on a baking sheet, taking extra caution to keep the jars from touching.
- Bake in the oven for approximately 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. In the meantime, dip jar lids & rings in boiling water tom 2 minutes & allow to air dry.
- Once jar bread in finished cooking, remove from oven and immediately place lids and rings on jars. Don't touch again until completely cool. You will hear a pop as each one seals.
- Spoon about 1 c of the streusel mixture onto the bottom of the pan. Pour batter over top of bread & top with remaining topping. Place in oven and bake 45-55 minutes (until toothpick comes out clean)). Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes before removing from pan and cooling completely on a cooling rack.
- Jars can be stored in the fridge up to two weeks - bread will stay fresh 1 week - 10 days f placed in a gallon baggie and refrigerated.
- *About halfway through, I dump the fork and just use my hands - do whatever works best for you!
- ** I filled the same baggie I used to mash the bananas with the batter, snipped off the corner & carefully piped the batter into each jar.