updated picture 9/8/2012
The best part about getting bananas from the grocery store is making a fresh loaf of banana bread. For me there is a very fine line between just right and too ripe of a banana and once the fruit passes that threshold, I think bananas taste pretty gross. Luckily, I love banana bread. It took me a few years of trying different recipes, but I finally found a banana bread that I adore. I’ve noticed with a lot of recipes, the banana bread comes out gooey in the center and dried out on the edges, but this one comes out perfectly baked all the way through. The secret? Microwaving the bananas, straining out the excess liquid, and then boiling down the liquid until its more like a banana syrup. While this method takes a little longer than traditional banana bread, it’s worth the extra step. This bread is great to bake ahead and freeze for when you have company or just feel like enjoying a slice with your morning cup of coffee.
Happy Monday, everyone. Stay tuned for a giveaway on Wednesday! 🙂
My Favorite Banana Bread
Yield: 1 loaf
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
5 large, very ripe bananas, peeled
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Lightly spray a loaf pan (about 9 x 5 inches) with cooking spray. Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
Place 5 bananas in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and make a few slits in the wrap to act as steam vents. Microwave on high for about 5 minutes or until the bananas are soft and liquidy. Transfer the bananas to a sieve and set over a medium bowl and let drain for about 15 minutes or until there is about 1/2 cup liquid.
Transfer the reserved banana liquid to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to about ¼ cup, 5-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Combine the bananas and the reduced banana liquid in a large bowl. Whisk until fairly smooth. Mix in the melted butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the banana mixture. Fold together gently, just until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly with a spatula. Sprinkle the sugar over the loaf.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55-75 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool at least 15 minutes in the pan before removing. Continue to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.
Source: Barely adapted from Annie’s Eats, originally from Cooks Illustrated