Friday, March 11, 2011

Banana Bread

Except perhaps for the scent of wheat bread baking, the tantalizing fragrance of banana bread is one of the homiest smells ever. Like a chocolate chip cookie, banana bread recipes are pretty basic. I'm not sure what it is about this one, but it has such a nice, crispy, almost candied top crust. The inside is soft, moist and tender. I leave out nuts and chocolate chips because my husband is a purist when it comes to banana bread, but I think those would be great additions to this recipe.
Old-Fashioned Fragrant Banana Bread from the book A Passion For Baking
  • 1/2 C unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 C sugar (I used half white, half brown sugar)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 C mashed ripe banana
  • 1/4 C sour cream
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment. (This is to place the loaf pan on to prevent the bottom from cooking too much. Works great.) Generously spray a 9x5 loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray and place on parchment-lined baking sheet.

2. In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until well blended. Add eggs, banana, sour cream, and vanilla. Fold in dry ingredients, scraping sides of bowl often. Fold in 1 C each chocolate chips and nuts, if you want.

3. Spoon into prepared pan. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until bread springs back when gently pressed with fingertips. (You can do the toothpick thing, too.) It may be cracked a bit on top, that's ok. If it doesn't seem done after 55 minutes, reduce temp to 325 and bake another 10-15 minutes. Cool in pan 20 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

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