BANANA NUT BREAD

The perfect banana nut bread…

A quick bonjour to share my favorite recipe for banana-nut bread. This is a rather exotic bread for the French. I made mini-loaves that I passed out to neighbors this year. These loaves fit in the palm of your hand and are decorated with one perfect walnut.

The recipe is based on one of my favorite websites to browse, Williams-Sonoma. They have a lovely recipe section and I always find yummy recipes with mouth-watering photos.  If you are looking for a recipe for a classic dish, take a peak on their site. They have some very nice recipes for the classics. (No, I’m not paid to plug them, but I really do enjoy their site.)

There are a few details that I changed for this recipe. I had only one regularly ripe banana (not very ripe), so I used only one banana. The result was perfect. The banana was more subtle, and the bread was a less sticky than many banana breads, with a lovely caramelized crust.

Secondly, I didn’t wrap the loaves in plastic wrap, as we so often do with these types of bread. I wanted to keep that caramelized crust crunchy, so after allowing the breads to cool completely, I stored them in a cookie tin.  When we finished the last mini-loaf about 3 or 4 days later, it was still moist in the middle and crunchy on the outside.

recipe for banana nut bread, based on Williams Sonoma recipe

Ingredients:

  • 6 Tbs. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room
    temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 ripe banana, coarsely mashed
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1⁄2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 3⁄4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, pecans
    or hazelnuts

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter and flour mini loaf pans, or a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

Beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the banana and eggs and beat until smooth. Add the buttermilk and beat just until combined.

In another bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and nuts. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and beat just until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans. They should be about two-thirds full. Bake until the loaves are golden brown and dry to the touch and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan, about 30 to 40 minutes if you are making mini loaves, and 55 to 60 minutes if you are making a large loaf. Be careful not to overcook the mini-loaves, as they will be more prone to drying out than a large loaf. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. Let the bread rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

Enjoy!

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