Thursday, April 21, 2011

Banana Bread

Even though I already have a go-to banana bread recipe, I still love trying new recipes.  I've heard nothing but rave reviews about the recipes that come out of the Baking Illustrated by Cooks Illustrated cookbook that I bought a few months ago.  With a couple of ripe bananas to use up, I flipped to the recipe & got started.

Banana Bread
from Baking Illustrated

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (unbleached) and some for dusting
  • 1 1/4 cups walnuts coarse chop (optional - I omitted)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt (I used vanilla)
  • 2 large eggs lightly beaten
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted and cool
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with the rack in the middle position.  If you're going to add nuts, toast them on a baking sheet in the oven for 5-10 minutes, watching carefully.  Mix together dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda & salt) in a large bowl.  In another bowl, mash the bananas, and add the yogurt, eggs, butter and vanilla, mixing until well combined. Gently fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, until just combined; the mixture may still be a little lumpy.  Pour into your prepared 9x5 loaf pan (I just used cooking spray) and bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean - mine took closer to 65 minutes.  Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Wrap the loaf for storage for up to 3 days.

The result?  Banana bread that had a crusty top, but was perfectly moist inside.  This rose a little higher than my usual recipe, but the taste was very similar.  Either recipe is a winner in my book!

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