Follwers of my website know I am a big fan of America’s Test Kitchen. I love their inovation, testing and fantastic recipes. They often take something simple and give it a much needed boost. That is the case with this banana bread.
Who here hasn’t baked a few loaves during quarentine? I recently saw a meme that comidically named Banana Bread as the Person of the Year for Time magazine. But, aren’t we all looking to up our game at this point in our baking?
The ATK version is so fantastic, but after baking this loaf over 6 times, I felt it dried out if the bananas were not black and you did not get all that banana juice out by microwaving. I could never get out the 3/4 cup they promised. Being lazy and not wanting a house full of fruit flies, I looked for another way of adding flavor. So… I opted for adding a tablespoon of molasses and nutmeg. Wow! Big difference.
*Baking notes continue after recipe…
the Ultimate Banana Bread
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 stick (8 TBSP) unsalted butter, melted
2 Large eggs, beaten
3/4 cup light brown sugar
1 TBSP molasses*
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup walnuts, toasdted and chopped- optional
2 tsp sugar
5-6 very ripe- almost black banana, peeled.
*- if you can strain more than 1/2 cup of syrup from the bananas, you can omit the molasses.
Method- total Time 1 hour, 30 minutes, makes 1 loaf
- Pre heat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, baking soda and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a microwave proof bowl, place peeled bananas and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 2-3 minutes until bananas have released their juices. Place bananas in a strainer over a small saucepan and let juices drain into pan. After 5-7 minutes, you will have about 1/2 cup of juice. If you have more than 1/2 cup, omit the molasses. Press with a spoon or spatula to help the fruit release more juice. Remove strained bananas and set aside for mashing. Cook banana liquid over medium heat until reduced to 1/4 cup- about 5 minutes. Take bananas from strainer and mash well.
- In another bowl, mix together mashed bananas, banana liquid, butter, eggs, brown sugar, molasses* (omit if you have nore than 1/2 cup of banana juice/syrup) and vanilla.
- Combine banana mixture into flour mixture. Do not over mix. A few streaks of flour are okay. Fold in walnuts. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Garnish with ripe bananas slices (see my photos) and sprinkle sugar on top.
- Bake at 350 for 55-65 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Remove from loaf pan and set on a wire rack to cool completely.
Also, I significantly shortened the microwaving and the “draining/straining” time. Additionally, frozen bananas work well with this recipe.
Be sure to toast the walnuts- they develop so much more depth after toasting. Enjoy!