Sunday, December 11, 2016

Flour Bakery banana bread

I have had only one banana bread recipe on this blog because I think it's pretty damn perfect.

For this banana bread recipe and tips, click here
But I *may* have just come across a recipe that is on par with my previous one! This new recipe is super soft and has a really tender and fine crumb. Like a cross between banana bread and a muffin!

One reason for the difference in texture with this recipe comes down to technique. The ingredients for both recipes are relatively similar (a bit more fat here, a bit less sugar there). But this recipe, by Joanne Chang of Flour Baker, uses an interesting technique in which the eggs and sugar are beaten together until light and fluffy.

The only bad thing is that this bread doesn't have the characteristic "banana bread hump" we're all used to, with the beautiful split top.

My bread also sunk a bit in the middle, like how some cakes do. I think it could be due, in part, to the fact that I used previously-frozen bananas (read about my trick here), which release much more liquid than a freshly-mashed banana. But it tasted great, and even though the batter was quite wet, it held up to the blueberries I sprinkled on top before baking.

Buen provecho,

Flour Bakery banana bread, adapted from I Am Food Blog
Feel free to play around with additions to this banana bread. Some ideas include:
  • mixing in some chocolate chips and/or nuts
  • mixing in or topping the bread before baking with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc
  • topping with freshly-sliced bananas (see picture at the top of this post)
  • putting some chocolate chips or chopped chocolate on top of the bread after it comes out of the oven, and spread it around after it melts

1 2/3 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon apple pie spice mix (see here for my recipe; or ground cinnamon)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (230 grams) sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup (100 grams) canola or other flavorless oil (next time I might try melted butter in its place, or a mixture of butter and oil; the recipe above uses butter for the fat)
3 1/2 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about 1 1/2 cups or 340 grams mashed bananas)
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. With the rack in the center of the oven, preheat to 325°F. Lightly butter and flour pan(s) of choice.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, splice blend, and salt. Set aside.
  3. With a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat together the sugar and eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (I whipped at level 6 on my Kitchen Aid)
  4. Switch to low speed and slowly drizzle in the oil, taking your time. (I found I had to increase to level 4 on my Kitchen Aid for the oil to full incorporate)
  5. Add the bananas, sour cream, and vanilla, and continue to mix on low speed just until combined.
  6. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. No flour streaks should be visible.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan(s) and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours for a 9×5-inch loaf, and about 50 minutes for three 6×3-inch loaves. The loaves should be golden brown on top and the cake will spring back when you press it.
  8. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, remove from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack. Enjoy!


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