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Banana Bread

Friday, June 19, 2015

Recipe adopted from The New Best Recipe.  [Recipe makes (1) 9"x5" loaf].

After coming to the realization that I had more ripe bananas on the counter than any single person should ever have, I decided to kill two birds with one stone by making a couple loaves of banana bread, resulting in an updated blog post!

Breads are often split into two generic groups:  quick breads and yeast breads.  The difference between the two lie in the type of leavening agent used.  Quick breads use chemicals such as baking powder or baking soda, while yeast breads (covered in Culinary Lesson #3 and #12) use different forms of yeast.  Although I don't want to scare anyone from attempting yeast breads (as they are totally doable for cooks of any level), I think most would agree that quick breads are easier to tackle.  You mix the dry ingredients, mix the wet ingredients, combine the two, and bake.  That's seriously it.  And assuming your recipe has the correct proportions, they're pretty hard to mess up.

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/4 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped

10 ounces (~2 cups plus 1 tablespoon) unbleached all-purpose flour
5 1/4 ounces (~3/4 cup) sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

13 ounces (~1 1/2 cups or three large) very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

Grease the bottom and sides of a 9"x5" loaf pan and dust lightly with flour.  Tap out and discard of any excess flour.  Preheat oven to 350° F.

Once the oven is preheated, bake the walnuts on a rimmed sheet tray until fragrant, roughly 8 minutes.  Remove from the oven and reserve.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla.  Add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula, just until you don't see any more dry ingredients (mainly flour).

Transfer the batter into the loaf pan and bake for roughly 55 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Let the bread cool in the pan while resting on a cooling rack for 10 minutes, and then remove the bread from the pan and let it finish cooling on the rack.  If you don't plan on eating the entire loaf within the next day or two, let it come to room temperature before slicing.  After slicing, transfer to a zip-lock bag, wrap in aluminum foil, and freeze.

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