In the past I have had many challenges trying to make banana bread. I was never quite sure why I had so much difficulty. Most times when I would make banana bread the top would be done, but the very center of the loaf would be not totally cooked. I would attempt to cook the loaf for an extended period of time, but then I would worry about overcooking the top of the bread. This recipe solves that issue.
This is the second time I have made this recipe. It is PERFECT! Wonderful balance of bananas, nuts, sugar and flour. When I made the recipe the first time, I followed it exactly and made only one loaf. The dough ended up overflowing the bread pan. So, this time I modifed the recipe slightly and split the dough into multiple dough pans.
The recipe below is for a single batch. I tripled it, as I needed multiple loaves for work.
This recipe is my third one from the flour cookbook. All of Joanne Chang’s recipes have been easy to cook, wonderful to eat, and have given so many smiles to all of my friends and co-workers. The flour ii cookbook is being written now, so I am planning to buy that as soon as possible.
For those of you who live in the Boston area, I am jealous. I have travelled there for business three times. However, I had not discovered the magic of Flour at that time.
Recipe Source – Flour: Spectacular recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe
1½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
½ cup canola oil
3½ very ripe, medium bananas, peeled and mashed
2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup walnut halves toasted and chopped
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
2. In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
3. Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or a handheld mixer), beat together the sugar and eggs on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. (If you use a handheld mixer, this same step will take about 8 minutes).
4. On low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil. Don’t pour the oil in all at once. Add it slowly so it has time to incorporate into the eggs and doesn’t deflate the air you have just beaten into the batter. Adding it should take about 1 minute. Add the bananas, crème fraîche, and vanilla and continue to mix on low speed just until combined.
5. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture and the nuts just until thoroughly combined. No flour streaks should be visible, and the nuts should be evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.
6. Bake for 1 to 1¼ hours, or until golden brown on top and the center streaks back when you press it. If your finger sinks when you poke the bread, it needs to bake a little longer. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes, and then pop it out of the pan to finish cooling.
7. The banana bread can be stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or, it can be well wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 2 weeks; thaw overnight at room temperature for serving.