Maui Banana Bread is my favourite banana bread. Banana bread is a yummy snack, although, maybe not the most exciting, right? But I felt the need to share this particular one with you. In Canada, at least, most of us have grown up with banana bread, I think. Everyone's Mom made a loaf whenever there were overripe bananas. It was a staple on every dessert table and bake sale.
A Humble Loaf, Elevated
But, every once in a while, you discover something that elevates the ordinary and gives you a whole new appreciation. Which is what happened when we found this loaf.
This winter, on a Hawaiian vacation, we drove the famous Road to Hana on beautiful Maui. The precarious road is breathtaking, and not for the nervous. We drove a twisting road through lush jungle, past waterfalls and one-lane bridges over soaring canyons. This road requires the driver's complete attention, which is difficult, considering the beauty of the surroundings.
Luckily, there are lots of spots to pull over and soak in the sights and sounds of that beautiful paradise.
One of these stops brought us to a roadside stand selling fruit, coffee, and banana bread.
Maui Banana Bread - It's a Thing
It's hard not to notice that banana bread is a big deal on Maui. There are signs about this treat all over the island. But I wasn't particularly interested. It is pretty commonplace at home, after all. In Hawaii, I really want to feast on the huge and luscious array of locally grown tropical fruit that we don't have freshly available in Canada.
However, we were really hungry by that point and gave in to the temptation of the delicious-looking dark brown loaves that were on display. We bought one. And ate it standing beside the car. It was as good as they said it was, maybe even the best banana bread in the world, as some Maui signs claim. Dark and moist, with a nice crunch on the top, it was definitely worth the stop.
Simplicity is Key
So this week, my eye caught the very ripe bananas on my countertop, and it reminded me of that beautiful Maui day. So I did a search on-line and the recipe for Maui Banana Bread was everywhere.
This one was featured on bonappetit.com in 2013. It's a really simple recipe with no nuts, raisins, or other add-ins. Maybe simplicity is the key to success with banana bread because this one hits the spot. I wanted to recreate the exact loaf that we had at that roadside stand on the Road to Hana, so I stuck to the recipe exactly, no changeups at all.
If not exact, this recipe came pretty close. Close enough that for one simple bite, my Maui memories are fading just a little more slowly.
Maui Banana Bread
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 3 large very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a 9x5 loaf pan, or line with parchment.
- Whisk flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
- Whisk eggs, sugar, mashed banana and oil in a large bowl.
- Add dry ingredients to banana mixture and stir until just combined.
- Spread batter into prepared pan.
- Bake about 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Transfer to a wire rack. Let the loaf cool in the pan 15 minutes.
- Run a knife around the inside of the ban to release the bread, and turn out onto rack.
- Allow the loaf to cool completely. (It won't taste as good warm, trust me).