Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Best Banana Bread

I'm totally serious when I say that this is the best banana bread I have ever tasted.  It may not be the healthiest recipe I've made over the years, but it is the most delicious.  I've had a lot of banana breads in my lifetime and the recipe from Flour Bakery in Boston, MA is by far the best!  Thank you to my dear friend, Robin, for getting me this cookbook - it has changed baking in my house.

My family can't get enough of this bread.  I made it a few weeks ago and I made it again today.  I make it every time we have bananas going bad (and if I don't have enough I usually have a stash of rotten bananas in my freezer just waiting to be put in muffins and breads).  I also make it every time we have out of town guests and they always rave about it.  I decided that I need to share it, even if its not the most healthful bread.

This recipe is a must try - especially if you have young children.  This is a perfect sweet treat or "dessert".  If my kids are really lucky, I'll let them have some for breakfast with peanut butter or scrambled eggs for added protein.

Happy Cooking!

Banana Bread
recipe adapted from Flour Bakery's recipe (found only in their cookbook called Flour)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour (or you can use all unbleached, total 1 1/2 cups, if you don't care about the healthier substitution)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 T sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups, or 3-5 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (it really depends on the size of the bananas themselves as to how many you need)
2 T light sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 325 and prepare a 9x5 loaf pan.  I spray the pan with baking spray, which includes oil and flour, but you can simply oil and flour the pan yourself.

In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking salt, cinnamon, and salt.   Whisk to combine and set aside.

Using a stand mixer fit with a whip attachment, combine the sugar and eggs on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
Yes, this is only the sugar and eggs combined...whipping it for 5 minutes incorporates a lot of air!
On low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil, being careful not to add it too quickly.  We worked hard to beat in a bunch of air so don't let the oil deflate it.  It's what keeps the bread so light and fluffy.
It has a smooth and shiny consistency.
Now for the rest of the wet ingredients: mashed bananas, light sour cream, and vanilla.  Add them at low speed just until combined.

Here is the end result up to this point:

Remove the bowl from the mixing stand.  The next step is done by hand.  With a spatula, slowly fold in the dry ingredients just until combined.  There should be no flour streaks, but be careful not to over-mix. 
Still folding...
Almost there...
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top.  Tap the pan on the counter to ensure that there are no air bubbles. 

Bake at 325 for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes or until golden brown on top and the center springs back when you touch it.  If your finger sinks then it needs more time.  Every oven is different.  You can also use a toothpick to test the center.  Its done when the toothpick comes out clean.

Be ready to taste banana bread deliciousness!!!  Enjoy!  Thank you Flour Bakery!!!

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