My affection for Mark Bittman is no secret, and I recently tried a banana bread recipe from his Diner's Journal column in the NYT.
The bread was a bit drier than I normally like it, but the exterior crust was so golden, crunchy and delicious, it's really the perfect bread for toasting and smearing with butter. Also, the recipe only calls for 3/4 cup sugar, so this will not be the sweetest banana bread you've ever tried. Just to compare to other banana bread recipes, I did a little research and found one that calls for 2 1/3 cups sugar! Holy hell, that's a lot. But the recipe is from Boston's own Flour Bakery, so I'm sure this would make a decadent treat. I brought the finished loaf to a BBQ.
Even though Mark says that this is meant to be a bread not a cake, the next time I make it I'm going to add more banana or possibly a little vegetable oil or buttermilk to add some more moisture. The coconut adds a really nice "what's that?" flavor, and I'm looking forward to using this secret ingredient in other baked goods.
The recipe can be found here.