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Twitter’s (and Uncle Mike’s) Banana Bread
Yes. This is THE banana bread. The bread that launched a million tweets and a hundred thousand Instagram tags, and had people all along the California coast offering to trade their brownest bananas for a makeup palette, a pair of John’s used underwear (it was clean; I’m not an animal), and the chance to meet my trusty assistant/mom, @PepperThai2.
Perfecting this single recipe took me nearly a year. That’s why I needed so many damn bananas. It was a fine, yummy banana bread. But something wasn’t SPECIAL about it. I tried a million different things. Using banana pudding mix made it taste fake. Toasting the top with salty coconut made it a little too coconutty. Nuts were too controversial among my friends. Milk chocolate blended in too much. But! It turned out that putting the coconut inside left it with a subtle hint of sweet coconut goodness, vanilla pudding gave it a fluffy, moist texture I could never have imagined, and dark chocolate gave it a . . . I dunno, do I need to explain why putting in chocolate is a good thing? Can you toss nuts in this? Sure. Can you use a different chocolate? Why not. But I’m telling you—I did this every way humanly possible so you wouldn’t have to. And the hundreds of banana bread pictures I’m tagged in (daily!) prove this. And who is Uncle Mike, you ask? He’s a guy who simply loves this bread. That was enough for me.
SERVES 12 ACTIVE TIME / 15 MIN TOTAL T IME / 1 HR 15 MIN
2 cups mashed very ripe bananas*
2/3 cup canola oil, plus a little more to grease the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus a little more for dusting the pan
2 cups sugar
1 (3.5-ounce) box vanilla instant pudding mix**
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 (3.5-ounce) bar dark chocolate, chopped into chunks
Salted butter, for serving
*Get six brown bananas. Not four. Not five. Six. You will think you only need five because it looks like enough, but it will not be enough. You will get five, you will mash them, you will be about half an inch short and that makes a difference and you cannot get around it. Trust me.
**I won’t tell you what brand to use, but the right brand rhymes with smello. Don’t use banana-flavored pudding mix. I tried it. It is gross.
Preheat the oven to 325°F.
In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas, eggs, and oil. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, sugar, pudding mix, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and combine well BUT GENTLY. I swear this came out differently when I used an aggressive electric mixer. Fold in the coconut and chocolate chunks.
Grease and flour a Bundt pan (that means wipe a little grease all over the inside of the pan, dust it with flour, and tip it upside down to shake out any extra flour). Pour the batter into the pan. (This can also make two 8 × 4-inch loaves, but it’s so much more moist in one Bundt pan!)
Bake until the cake springs back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. (Test it with a toothpick at around 50 minutes.) Let it cool slightly in the pan, then use a butter knife to gently release the cake from the sides of the pan and around the inner circle, then flip it onto a plate.
Let it cool, and cut it into slices. Rewarm them and serve them with salty butter!!