I can’t tell you how much I love this banana coconut bread. It is unlike any banana bread I have ever had. Before I had this bread, most of the banana bread that I had tried tasted pretty much exactly the same. Maybe a slightly different texture, or hint more cinnamon, but essentially it was the same bread. Well that, my friends, is over. This recipe came to me from the book Home Baking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Tradition Around the World by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. It is a wonderful book with beautiful pictures about baking breads and pastries. It has many wonderful recipes, but this Banana Bread recipe is by far the standout for me. Here is the recipe:
3 medium to large frozen bananas, defrosted, or very overripe bananas
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon white or rice vinegar
3 tablespoons dark rum
1 cup dried shredded unsweetened coconut
2 Tablespoons brown sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter two 9×5 inch bread pans. Using a mixer, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add vinegar and rum. Add bananas and beat until well incorporated. Add dry ingredients. Stir in the coconut. Spoon batter into prepared pans and sprinkle each loaf with approx 1 tablespoon brown sugar. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes, then turn out of pans onto cooling racks to finish cooling and to firm up.
I make a couple of personal additions. One, I add about one more tablespoon of rum – it really is better that way. Two, I sprinkle the tops of my bread with pecans. Not only does it add to the aesthetic appeal of the bread, but it lends it’s nutty flavor making the bread’s flavor even more complex. And three, I use sweetened coconut. Unsweetened coconut is far too difficult for me to find on a regular basis, so I use the sweetened shredded and reduce the sugar added by about 1/4 cup.
This bread also turns into a beautiful banana coffee cake when baked in a 8×8 round cake pan (as I show above), so if you are looking for something a little different – try this. I have also made this recipe into muffins with great success. To do this just make as usual, and spoon into lined or buttered muffin tins. Bake for 35-45 minutes.
This bread also freezes beautifully. I never halve the recipe; I just freeze one loaf and eat one loaf. Although, the bread never does last very long – even in the freezer! I hope this recipe brings you as much joy as it has brought throughout the years. Happy Baking!!