Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Flour Bakery's Famous Banana Bread Recipe and a Bonus!
So I recently came home to a 40 lb box of bananas sitting on my kitchen table. If you don't know what 40 lbs of bananas looks like....
(Either my husband had visions of Banana Bread loaves dancing in his head or we were adopting a monkey!)
Being the practical person that I am (most of the time), I made the Banana Bread. I already have my go-to Banana Bread recipe that I have been making for years. In my opinion, it is the best Banana Bread I have ever tasted. But I recently came across the recipe for Joanne Chung's famous Banana Bread from her bakery Flour in Boston. If you are not familiar with Joanne Chung, she is a baking goddess and one of my true inspirations. I have great admiration for her. Joanne graduated from Harvard with a degree in Economics then discovered her passion for baking. She opened a Bakery (Flour Bakery and Cafe) in Boston which garnered rave reviews from top pastry chefs and is the author of "Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Flour Bakery and Cafe". She even beat Bobby Flay in a Sticky Bun throwdown! Needless to say, a trip to Flour Bakery in Boston is on my bucket list.
As much as I admire Joanne, I was a little hesitant to try her recipe. Deep down inside, I was afraid to be disappointed. Would her famous banana bread measure up to or surpass the recipe I have been using for years? Since I had a few bananas to spare (haha), I decided to give the recipe a try.
The verdict? It was delicious. Did it measure up? Yes! Did it surpass my go-to recipe? I wouldn't say it did, but it is just as delicious and I will definitely be making it again. Even if you already have your own recipe that you swear by, I encourage you to give this one a try and let us know how it measures up to yours.
Flour Bakery's Famous Banana Bread
from Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Flour Bakery and Cafe
1 2/3c all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 c + 2T sugar
3 1/2 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 T sour cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 c walnuts or pecans, toasted and chopped (don't skip the toasting process, it makes a difference)
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray and line the botton with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with non-stick spray.
In a medium bowl. whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy (approx 10 minutes). I used a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment so I didn't have to stand in front of the mixer for 10 minutes.
Gradually drizzle in oil. Add mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla. Mix to combine.
Fold in the dry ingredients and the nuts just until combined. Do not overmix.
Pour into lined loaf pan and bake 45 minutes to an hour or until done.
Cool in pan for 15-20 minutes then turn out onto a cooling rack.
Store in an air tight container for up to 2 days (if it lasts that long!)
As a bonus, I made these delicious Banana Chocolate Chip and Espresso Muffins. Every once in a while, you come across a recipe that just blows you away and you want to share it with the world. This recipe, from one of my favorite Cookbooks, is it. If you like the combination of banana and chocolate, you will absolutely love these muffins. They are so moist and delicious, you won't be able to eat just one....
Banana Chocolate Chip and Espresso Muffins
from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking
1 1/2c all purpose flour
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 c very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c whole milk (I used lowfat)
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 c mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (I recommend using the mini size chips)
Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 12 c muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, stir together the bananas, sugars, butter, milk, vanilla and egg until well combined.
In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and espresso.
Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix with a wooden spoon just until combined. You may still see small pockets or streaks of flour. This is ok, do not overmix or your muffins will be tough. Gently fold in the chocolate chips just until distributed throughout the batter.
Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin pan making sure to divide evenly. The cups will be almost full.
Bake on the center rack of your oven for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean but with a few moist crumbs.
Cool in the pan on a cooling rack for 15 minutes, then remove them from the pan.
These muffins keep well and stay moist and delicious when stored in an air tight container for up to 2 days.