I don’t usually like bakeware that only does one thing, just like I don’t like appliances that only make quesadillas or shoes that only match that one dress I hardly ever wear. They all sit there getting dusty and taking up space that more practical items could be using.
But I sort of accidentally bought this very cute Nordic Ware banana bread pan from Kmart.com while I was studying their site. I planned to cancel the order, but you can’t do that online (which is either a very bad customer experience or a very smart business rule), and by the time it got to my house looking completely adorable I decided to give it a home in my overcrowded pantry.
My main concern with this pan was that it would be impossible to clean, but I rinsed it out right after popping the bread out of it and it came clean with no problem. It was a little tedious to butter, but not excruciating.
And you can use the pan to make things other than banana bread, I’m just afraid that it would really mess with my coworkers if I tried to feed them pumpkin bread with little palm trees and bananas on it.
Only other pain point: it only fit about half of my batter, so I had to grease a second pan anyway. No biggie since nobody wanted to cut into the pretty loaf, so we ate the normal one first.
And here’s my favorite banana bread recipe from a very old book, if you’re looking for a good one:
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
½ cup butter
1 ⅔ cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons sour cream
1 cup mashed bananas
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups (1 bag) chocolate chips
Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs and salt.
Dissolve baking powder and baking soda in sour cream. Add to mixture.
Add bananas. Gradually add in flour, then vanilla. Stir in chocolate.
Pour into buttered and sugared loaf pan. Bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes.
TIP: You can flour the pan if you prefer, but I’ve found that sugaring it instead gives the bread a nice caramelized crust. Also, if you’re baking the bread the day before serving it, don’t put it in an airtight container. That will make the crust loose its crunch. Leave the lid partly open so the moisture doesn’t build up.