My Classic Banana Bread recipe was created at the request of a silver-haired fellow newly transplanted from Sunny California. After several rave reviews, my new friend gently explained that my C.B.B. was not the banana bread he had been dreaming it would be. WHAT?!?
Turns out that somewhere in his storied past my new friend had worked at an exclusive restaurant that served a B.B. “to die for”. His eyes lit up as he described a dessert probably developed by a French pastry chef. Well, that’s about as hard to live up to as “Mom’s Apple Pie” or “Grandma’s Fried Chicken” or any other dish that exists only in the shrine of a distant memory.
Still, who doesn’t love a challenge? So, I set out to create the moistest, most flavorful, most Decadent Banana Nut Bread I could, and here you are…
Yield: 3 mini loaves (5.75 inch)
Serving size: 1/3 of mini loaf, 309 calories
Servings per recipe: 9
This recipe is best with very ripe bananas. Melt 1/2 cup butter in advance so it has time to cool some before adding to the eggs.
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray three mini loaf pans (abt 5 3/4”) with nonstick spray. (You can certainly make one standard loaf pan, but I like to share or freeze so I don’t eat the whole loaf myself! Mini pans work well for sharing.)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon banana extract, optional
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup vanilla wafer crumbles, divided
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
Mix 1 teaspoon each cinnamon powder, sugar, brown sugar. Mix with 1/2 cup vanilla wafer crumbles.
In your mixer (fitted with the wire whip), slowly cream the melted butter, sugar, eggs and extracts.
TIP: Creaming together sugar, butter, and eggs has to be done slowly; no higher than medium speed. And once any flour is added, the mixing has to be slower still. Developing the flour’s gluten too much means quick breads and cakes will rise beautifully in the oven – then sink (a little, or a lot) as soon as you pull them out. And the sinking is what makes dense, gluey streaks.
Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir gently into the butter mixture until smooth.
Finally, gently fold in the sour cream, walnuts, bananas, and 1/2 cup of vanilla wafer crumbles. (Reserve the other 1/2 cup wafer crumbles for topping.).
Spread evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle top with cinnamon cookie crumble mixture if desired.
Another mixer Tip. Generally, use the wire whip for batter, the paddle for dough, and the bread hook only for kneading yeast breads
Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes (about 60 minutes for standard pan) or until a skewer or a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.