Friday, May 20, 2011

Banana Bread - improv

banana bread

We have a running problem around these parts with over-ripe bananas.  When we buy a bunch, there's always one or two that get soft before we get around to eating them.  Yesterday I wanted to make banana bread with 4 browning bananas, and then turn around and make french toast out of the quickbread.  I turned to my trusty Cook's Illustrated recipe bank, and found that their recipe calls for 6 overripe bananas, so improvisation was in order.  (Who lets that many bananas go brown?  4 is about our max.)  I dug out some banana extract and went to work.  Everyone is glad I did because it was the BEST FRENCH TOAST EVER.

banana bread

Banana Bread

1&3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 peeled bananas
2 teaspoons banana extract
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted and allowed to cool a bit
2 large eggs, room temperature (or place eggs in a container of warm water for a few minutes)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

*Prep - preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a loaf pan with nonstick spray.  whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.

1. Place bananas in a microwave safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap and cut vents.  Microwave on high 5 minutes.  Move bananas to a mesh strainer over a bowl.  allow bananas to drain 10+ minutes.  Hopefully you will get 1/3 to 1/2 cup of fluid.

2. Transfer fluid to a small saucepan and cook over medium high heat until reduced. (5min) Add banana extract, then stir liquid into bananas and mash until smooth.  Whisk butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla into banana mixture.

3. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and mix until just combined.  Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan.  Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over top of batter.

4. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 50 to 75 minutes, depending on size and type of loaf pan.  Allow bread to cool in pan 15 minutes, then run a knife or spatula around the edges and remove from pan to finish cooling on a cooling rack.

5. If using for french toast, slice into 3/4 inch slices and allow extra time for bread to marinate in your egg mixture of choice before moving to griddle.

*(if desired, 1/2 cup nuts can be added when wet and dry ingredients are mixed together)


hairyshoefairy said...

Ooh! That sounds heavenly! Maybe I should make banana bread french toast for dinner some time this week.

Lizzie said...

Oh Em! I'm drooling. Looks delicious... as does your photography if I might add. Looks like you are learning lots and lots in your class. Way to go!

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