Sunday, February 8, 2009

Banana bread w/ a crunchy cinnamon sugar walnut topping

Did you know there is a banana museum in Auburn, Washington? The website was pretty cool, but at the bottom, you can view pictures of the museum. Kinda funny...
Bananas are great, aren't they? :)

Anyways, I love baking with fruit. Sometimes I would rather have some cake or pie or bread w/ tons of fruit in it that something chocolate *gasp*

This recipe comes from Baking Illustrated.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups walnuts, chopped coarse
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
1/4 cup yogurt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350°F (175°C) degrees. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with Pam.

2. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

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

4. 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.

5. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 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 only changed two things in this recipe. One, I added another 1 1/2 bananas. (I accidentally dropped half of one on the floor, so Shadow got to eat it. Lucky dog)

The other thing I changed was the walnuts. I took the walnuts and tossed them in a frying pan w/ butter and cinnamon sugar and them put them on top of the batter before cooking. Then I sprinkled some raw sugar on top of that. I wanted a crunchy top. Before it went in it looked like this:
After it came out it looked like this:

It is definitely tasty and very moist. The extra banana didn't make it crazy overpowering and I definitely prefer the walnuts on top rather than inside. I would probably use a little less walnuts on top next time. Some of it didn't stick t the batter and while I was happy to munch on the fallen pieces, it was kind of a waste to have a lot fall off. But this is definitely a keeper recipe otherwise!

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