April 7, 2011

"Banana" Banana Bread

Today is not a good day. My eight-or-more year old RCA television died in the middle of "Little Bear" while my youngest son was watching. "Mommy, the TV stopped working." Gah. Four kids and no TV on the main floor. I need something sweet..

I like Banana Bread - it's about the only "banana" thing I like other than real bananas. I usually use a recipe loaded with cinnamon, but I just bought a new cookbook so I thought I'd try something new.

The original recipe calls for 1 1/4 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped, but as my youngest has a allergy to peanuts and tree nuts.

Banana Bread
1 loaf

New Best Recipe Editors of Cooks Illustrated , melted and cooled, plus more for the pan

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe, soft, darkly speckled large bananas, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350°F (175°C) degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.

Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and walnuts together in a large bowl.

Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)

I miss the cinnamon, but the taste of the banana really comes through..

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