Sunday, February 24, 2008

banana bread

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 overripe bananas
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped (i don't really believe in nuts in bread, so i excluded these)
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional, i never really do this part)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. 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. 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. 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. (toasted banana bread is one of the most brilliant things i've ever heard of. so good!)

also, the top of my bread was getting too brown, so i'd place a piece of foil on top after about 45-50 minutes. this bread is so good cause of the crispy edges and soft and moist center (yes, i said moist, even though i loathe that word.) these pictures are from a time when i made this before and substituted toasted slivered almonds (finely chopped) for the pecans. i think i prefer my bread sans nuts. but that's just me.


Broek said...

No seriously, you have my mailing address right? I'm just checking cause it seems my baked goods package still hasn't arrived...weird.

Cindy said...

Nice bread pan.

And I'm still waiting for my baked goodies to arrive too.

Though my hips say no, no, no.

julia said...

i love the green pan.

that foil idea is good too. i've done it w/you but i always forget.

ps iew, you said moist.

tjhirst said...

I love how high your banana bread rose up. Mine seems to always be so flat in the pan. Why is this? Am I dividing the batter into too many loaves? When I do put a lot of batter in one loaf pan to make it taller, then it doesn't cook through. Would love to have your tips.