Monday, March 18, 2013

The Best Banana Bread... Ever.

I adore anything baked with fruit, and banana bread is the ultimate comfort treat for me. It's gooey and sweet (if prepared perfectly) and always lifts a dreary afternoon when accompanied by tea. I've tried many recipes and many methods on my quest for the best banana bread ever. After a few years of trial and error, I've mastered the art. I hope you enjoy.

Allow butter to reach room temperature (it should be easy to "slice" through it with a wooden spoon). Add sugar 1/2 cup at a time and mix to a creamy consistency (creamy with sugar grains). Add bananas one at a time: before peeling off the skin run under warm water; the brown skin will come off in a thin strip, leaving the stringy bits. Break the banana up into 1/2 inch chunks and add to bowl with sugar and butter. Do not stir. Add eggs and vanilla. Mash all ingredients with a potato masher. Follow with a good wooden spoon mix until batter is gooey.

The frozen banana will start to melt, mixing with the other ingredients. The mixture will be slight chunky (bottom right corner of the above grid). Mix dry ingredients in a sifter (a sifter is not totally necessary, but it is the key to the smooth, velvet consistency). Gradually add dry ingredients, mixing well. Once all dry ingredients have been mixed, set batter aside. The melting of the bananas will continue and the gluten will begin to react (see second column far left in the below grid). While this is happening, prepare your bread pan (9x5) with butter and flour (avoid cooking sprays): coat the sides and bottom of the pan with the butter, then dust with flour. Using a spatula, transfer your batter into the bread pan. Top with a light dusting of cinnamon. Bake.

© Habit & Style, 2013

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