3/22/2011

Banana Bread

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I often wonder how many recipes there are for banana bread.  From the mixing methods to the variations of ingredients, there seem to be thousands.  I make my share of these variations, but today I am sharing the recipe for my standard, plain ol' banana bread.  My idea of a good banana bread is one with a tender cake, but not so moist that it is gummy.  So, with the goal of straddling this fine line, I use butter and bit of sour cream or yogurt.  I aim for a nice dome with a crunchy, sugary top.  To this end, I sprinkle the top of the unbaked bread with Demerara sugar.  I like for the mashed banana to be speckled throughout, not in chunks here and there.  To achieve that, I press my ripe banana through a potato ricer before mixing it in with the other ingredients.   My secret addition to really brighten the banana flavor is to add a splash of vinegar.  The end result for me--a perfectly textured and tasty banana bread that is just the right vehicle for a slathering of butter.



Banana Bread
makes one 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf

1 1/3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tablespoons sour cream or plain yogurt
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 extra large eggs lightly beaten, at room temperature
1 cup mashed very ripe banana, 2-3 depending on size
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
1 tablespoon Demerara sugar (optional, but really good)

Preheat the oven to 350┬║ F.  Lightly spray an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with baking spray.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon. In a separate medium bowl, stir together the mashed banana, sour cream, vanilla, vinegar and chopped nuts (if using). Set aside.

 In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the flour mixture and beat until the mixture is blended and has a sandy consistency.  Add the eggs and beat until combined.  Fold in the banana mixture; do not over mix.  
Scrape the banana into the prepared pan and sprinkle with the Demerara sugar.  Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Invert onto a baking rack and cool completely.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from The Joy of Cooking, 1997

14 comments:

  1. I love the potato ricer idea! And I would never have thought of vinegar, but I'll give the recipe a try, it looks delicious.

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  2. Just happen to a few bananas that are begging to be made into bread. Can't wait to try the ricer. My pickiest son gets grossed out if he encounters a hunk of banana in his piece. Found you on Make-and-Takes.

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  3. Ditto the potato ricer idea! As to the secret ingredient, should I presume you used white vinegar?

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  4. I make banana bread often, but your recipe was truly the best I have ever tasted. My husband,neighbor, and I agree.

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  5. Huh, vinegar. I'm going to have to try that! I wish my bananas were speckled : (

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  6. Well, we are back for a second visit to this recipe. We made it two weeks ago and the treat vanished so fast my dh didn't get any. I blame the kids for that. We used lemon juice instead of vinegar and it turned out great! Per my son's dietary 'needs' we added chocolate chips to half of the loaf and he was happy:). Thanks for a great recipe. We are doubling it today.

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  7. Nicole-The Galley GourmetMay 02, 2011

    Marlis-
    I am pleased that you enjoyed it. Thank you for letting me know. Chocolate is always an added pleasure:)

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  8. The best banana bread I've ever made. Thank you for sharing!

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  9. Hi Nicole

    What is a very ripe banana?

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  10. Hi, Jackie,
    By very ripe banana, I mean one that has blackened and speckled skin.

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  11. We made this bread tonight and I have to say that this is easily the best banana bread I've made! Funny, considering that I don't really like banana bread :) however, it's my husband's favorite and when he pointed out the spotty, neglected bananas on the counter I knew it was a not-so-subtle hint and decided to try your recipe. GREAT flavor, moist but not too heavy, and just soooo good!

    I'd sliced some banana on the top for decoration and didn't think about the fact that they'd turn to really yummy caramelized bonuses.

    Thanks so much for posting this recipe so that I can enjoy the banana bread just as much as he does! I've tried a lot of recipes over the years and I finally found one to keep!

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  12. Amy-
    I am so pleased you enjoyed the banana bread recipe enough to call it "the one". I do the same with leftover banana slices on top. Yummy caramelized goodness, indeed! Happy cooking!

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  13. Oh wow! This was amazing. I sprinkled chocolate sanding sugar on top and though the taste was subtle, it made it perfect! =)

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  14. Momma L-
    The chocolate sanding sugar sounds like a great idea! Thank you for letting me know how it turned out:)

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