Thursday, March 10, 2011

Flour's Famous Banana Bread

I am probably not the right person to judge what makes a good banana bread. Growing up in Germany it was not something we would typically eat and whenever banana bread came on my radar, I would know how to avoid it. Somehow for me bread and banana did not go very well together.  How wrong was I here!  

When Boston's Flour bakery book fell into my hands, the beautiful photography convinced me to give it one more try. And now I am officially a big fan of banana bread. Overripe bananas are not anymore an annoyance to me because I know how to handle them: BAKE BANANA BREAD! The bread is very moist and I love the chopped walnuts in it. It makes a perfect breakfast treat, but believe me, it is so addictive that you will most certainly end up eating it  not only in the morning. I tried to do a couple of changes, but always went back to the original recipe. As overripe bananas already have a high sugar content, you can probably reduce the amount of sugar. I omitted two tablespoons of sugar to reach the sweetness level I like. You can either freeze the banana bread after it is cooled down, or keep it wrapped at room temperature for up to three days.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
In a second bowl, add the sugar and eggs.
Mix eggs and sugar until fluffy for about 8 minutes. Then slowly drizzle in the oil.
Add in the mashed bananas,sour cream/creme fraiche, and vanilla extract.
Mix on low speed until just combined.
Gently fold in the flour/nut mixture.
Fill into a loaf pan.
After baking, let the banana bread cool on a wire rack.

Flour’s Famous Banana Bread
Recipe originally published in Joanne Chang’s book Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery

Makes one 9-inch loaf.


1 ½ cups (210 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼  teaspoon ground cinnamon

½  teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar plus 2 tablespoons (230 grams) sugar

2 eggs

1/2 cup (100 grams) canola oil

3 ½ very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (1 1/3 cups, about 340 grams)

2 tablespoons crème fraîche or low-fat sour cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¾  cup (75 grams) walnut halves, toasted and chopped



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Take a bowl and sift together the flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt.

In a second bowl, beat together eggs and sugar. It will take about 8 minutes with a handheld mixer.

With the handheld mixer on low speed, very slowly drizzle in the oil.

Now add in the mashed bananas, crème fraîche (or low-fat sour cream), and vanilla extract and just continue mixing until combined. Fold in the flour mixture and the toasted/chopped walnuts.

Pour the batter in a loaf pan (9-by-5-inch) and bake about 1 to 1 1/4 hours. If you insert a toothpick to check if the bread is done, it should come out dry. Let the bread cool inside the pan on a wire rack for about 30 min.

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