March 19, 2009
It’s difficult to make a bad banana bread. They’re a very forgiving quickbread, but that doesn’t mean they’re always excellent. This one, however, is. It’s my banana bread go-to recipe.
The original recipe asks for pecans, which I have used, and loved! They become crunchy and almost candylike in the bread. This time, I had some leftover hazelnuts, so I used those instead. Pretty much any nut, dried fruit or chocolate can be thrown in here, and the end result will be fantastic.
My favourite thing about this recipe is how some of the bananas are barley mashed, so they’re still quite lumpy. Then they’re added at the end, so it gives the bread chunks of moist bananas throughout.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 overripe bananas
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled (I used 1/4 cup butter, 1/2 cup vegetable oil)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup hazelnuts, finely chopped (the original recipe calls for pecans, which I also love!)
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together for a good 3 minutes; you want a light and fluffy banana cream. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla; beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated; no need to overly blend. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Give the pan a good rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.
4. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Don’t get nervous if the banana bread develops a crack down the center of the loaf; that’s no mistake, it’s typical. Rotate the pan periodically to ensure even browning.
5. Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes or so, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Toast the slices of banana bread, dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve.
Do you have a favourite banana bread recipe? I’d love to put another good one on the banana-roster!
Oh! And don’t forget the giveway, one post down. Just two more days!
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