Friday, April 24, 2009

the best banana bread ever made. no seriously.

okay, so everyone's got their favorite type of banana bread. whether you like yours cakey, or bread like, or dense, or light, or heavy on the banana, or not so much, this recipe will satisfy all of you.

i'm lying.

this bread is dense, with a heavy moist crumb, bordering on a fudge cake, and is full of banana. it's got a crunchy topping of coarse sugar, demerara being one of the best options. demerara is also known as turbinado here in the states, and i think sugar in the raw is an acceptable substitute. you just want to find a very coarse raw sugar to strew overtop. this recipe doubles, triple and quadruples amazingly well, so don't just make a small batch.

and the best part is, this is a family recipe that i've doctored to suit me, making it truly a catherine original. oh yes. i'll be signing copies later.


5Tblspoons butter, softened slightly
1/2C granulated sugar
1/2C brown sugar
1 large egg
2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2C mashed very ripe bananas *see note
1 3/4C all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2C fat free 1/2 n 1/2
4tsp. raw, demerara or turbinado sugar
1/3C chopped walnuts (optional)

preheat oven to 350ยบ F. grease bottom only of a 9x5x3 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

beat butter on medium speed until light and fluffy. add granulated sugar, and brown sugar, and mix well. add egg, egg whites, and vanilla. beat until well blended. add mashed banana and beat on high for 30 seconds.

in a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. add 1/2 flour mixture to butter mix, mixing after each addition. then add 1/2 n 1/2, mix, and add remaining flour mixture. mix until just blended. mix in walnuts if using.

pour batter evenly into prepared loaf pan. sprinkle 4 tsp. of sugar evenly over top. bake until browned, and toothpick inserted near center comes out clean. for me, this runs anywhere from 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes. this really depends on what size loaf pan you end up using, as this recipe is pretty flexible.

cool bread in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes. turn out onto wire rack, and cool completely. and by "completely" i mean, until it's cool enough to handle, and slice large pieces off of.

this bread is amazing the next day, as it gets denser and moister. my guess is that it would last about 3 days unrefrigerated, but none has ever made it that long.

** bananas are very easily gotten to the mushy stage by freezing overnight in a ziplock baggie, and then thawed all the next day in the fridge. you oughta be ready to make banana bread the next morning. pour the bananas straight out of the bag, liquid and all. this might be one of the secrets to having the best banana bread ever.

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