A couple of months ago I was chatting with @Abbeeroad, who asked for a good banana bread recipe. In pulling up the one I normally used from the Better Homes & Gardens classic red gingham cookbook, I stumbled onto a version of a coffee banana bread. Since I also had bananas to use up we both made some that day. The original recipe called for adding ground coffee straight into the flour mixture, which sounded silly to me. No matter how fine ground your coffee, it’s still going to make for gritty bread, so I swapped it out for instant coffee which would dissolve.
Over the course of the pandemic, I’ve made this bread 5 times now, changing something every time. I’ve finally perfected my version of the recipe, which includes changing the technique for infusing the coffee flavor, and upping the whole grains by using some whole wheat flour and some ground flax seed. But don’t worry if you don’t have those things, you can still use AP flour.
Coffee Infused Banana Bread
1 1/4 cups AP flour + ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour + 1/4 cup ground flax seed
2 cups AP flour
1 – 2 teaspoon instant espresso or coffee
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup granulated sugar (I use a scant cup, especially if my bananas measure more than 1 cup)
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 large)
⅓ cup butter, melted
3 tablespoons milk of choice (I have used cashew or hazelnut with great results)
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons espresso sugar or turbinado/raw sugar (optional)
In a small bowl, melt the butter in the microwave. You want it liquid, but not boiling hot. Add in the instant espresso or coffee powder, and stir well. Let the coffee infuse the butter for 5-10 minutes, while you prep the rest of the ingredients.
Preheat your oven to 350°. Grease the bottom and partway up the sides of an 8" x 4" loaf pan.
In a large bowl whisk together flour(s), baking soda and salt. Make a well in center of flour mixture and set aside.
In a separate medium bowl combine the beaten egg, granulated sugar, banana, milk and vanilla. Once the coffee butter has finished infusing, add the butter into the wet ingredients and stir well. Break up any little clumps of coffee than may have not dissolved.
Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened. The batter will be lumpy. Spoon into the prepared pan. If desired, sprinkle with the espresso or raw sugar. Honestly, I don’t feel this bread needs it at all, but some folks like things sweeter. You do you.
Bake for 60 - 70 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 5-10 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely on the rack.