This is the first recipe I've tried from "Flour" cookbook which I bought months ago, and I was really curious about this Banana Bread, especially when I've read all the rave reviews from online. So naturally this recipe was bookmarked to try. I was actually curious whether will it be better than the one from Nigella's, which is my favourite banana bread at the moment.
As usual, I've reduced the amount of sugar for almost all of my bakes, and for this, from 230gm to 130gm and it was still sweet for me, maybe the bananas are really sweet. I did not have any creme fraiche so I've used homemade yoghurt instead.
The cake bakes up nice, with an almost flat top and golden crust. Texture is a little dense but soft, moist, full of banana bits and walnuts. It is a cross between a cake and a bread. Comparing this to the Banana Bread by Nigella Lawson, my personal favourite between these two, is definitely Nigella's! While this cake is nice, Nigella's is awesome! Nigella's banana bread has a softer, more tender and lighter texture, while appeals to me. But then if you like dense, soft and moist cake/bread, than this Flour's Famous Banana Bread is for you.
Overall, this is a really nice Banana Bread. Great with a cup of warm tea or coffee.
Flour's Famous Banana Bread
(adapted from "Flour", Joanne Chang)
1-1/2 cups (210gm) unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 tsp fine sea salt)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (230gm) sugar (I use 130gm, still a little too sweet for me)
1/2 cup (100gm) canola oil
3-1/2 very ripe, medium bananas, peeled and mashed (1-1/3 cups mashed/about 340gm)
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream (I use yoghurt)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup (75gm) walnut halves, toasted and chopped
- Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
- In a bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment (or a handheld mixer), beat together the sugar and eggs on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. (If you use a handheld mixer, this same step will take about 8 minutes).
- On low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil. Don't pour the oil in all at once. Add it slowly so it has time to incorporate into the eggs and doesn't deflate the air you have just beaten into the batter. Adding it should take about 1 minute. Add the bananas, creme fraiche, and vanilla and continue to mix on low speed just until combined.
- Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture and the nuts just until thoroughly combined. No flour streaks should be visible, and the nuts should be evenly distributed. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top.
- Bake for 1 to 1-1/4 hours, or until golden brown on top and the center springs back when you press it. If your finger sinks when you poke the bread, it needs to bake a little longer. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes, and then pop it out of the pan to finish cooling.
- The banana bread can be stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap at room temperature for up to 3 days. Or, it can be well wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 2 weeks; thaw overnight at room temperature for serving.
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