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Ultimate Banana Bread
(recipe, Anna Conley)
From Cooks Illustrated: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/detail.asp?docid=25349
Going to combine the banana-boosting technique in this one with the sourdough banana bread recipe.
- 1¾ cups (8¾ oz) all purpose flour
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. table salt
- 6 large very ripe bananas (about 2¼ pounds)
- 8 Tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup packed (5¼ oz) light brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup toasted, coarsely chopped walnuts (optional)
- 2 tsp. granulated sugar
- Sift flour, baking soda, salt together in a large bowl
- Place 5 bananas in a microwave safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, cut vents for steam. Microwave on high power until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer bananas to fine mesh strainer over a medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. You should have ½ to ¾ cup liquid.
- Transfer banana liquid to medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir reduced liquid into bananas and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Whisk in butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla.
- Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined with some streaks of flour remaining.
- Gently fold in nuts, if using.
- Scrape batter into greased loaf pan.
- Slice remaining banana into ¼ inch thick slices. Shingle banana slices on top of either side of the loaf, leaving a 1½ inch wide space down the center to ensure even rise. Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over loaf.
- Bake in preheated 350F oven until cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and continue cooling.