The following “Chew This!” column originally appeared in “The Courier-Times” and / or “The Shelbyville News”. Check their websites for further information and dates.
My New Favorite Banana Bread
So, for the past couple of years, I have been experimenting with different types of fruit breads. Not just your classic banana bread but also blueberry bread, apple bread, strawberry bread and even a combination of fruits and nuts that very closely resembles a fruit cake but a lot better tasting. In my testing I have found that in blueberry bread, raspberry bread or even strawberry bread, fresh fruit is the best for stirring into the batter. When you use frozen berries of any kind, you have to keep in mind that when they thaw there will be extra liquid, which in baking will throw off the entire recipe, giving you something very undesirable. I have also found that just about any fruit bread recipe benefits from the addition of either dark chocolate chips, semi-sweet chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips or even white chocolate chips. What is even better than adding just chocolate alone, is also pairing it up and adding toasted nuts of some kind. It really depends on your personal preferences but thinking outside the box will sometimes lead you to discover flavor profiles that you may have never thought about.
For the recipe I am sharing today, there are a couple of tips I need to point out. First, you must roast the bananas for this recipe. It sounds scary but it is really not. You simple place whole, unpeeled bananas onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast them in a 300-degree oven for 30 minutes. The yellow skins of the bananas will turn black, this is desirable. Allow them to cool completely before trying to peel and use them. Another tip is the sour cream. Sour cream gives this banana bread extra richness and moisture. I like having a couple of slices of this banana bread with some salted butter smeared across the top and fried eggs on the side. Now, I have heard of people who actually will slice this bread super thin and use it as sandwich bread between their favorite cucumber and dill filling. Think “British high tea” if you will. Whatever way you serve this, you are sure to enjoy!
New Favorite Banana Bread
This banana bread will last several days, wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature.
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 cup white granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups white all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup oven roasted bananas
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees F.
Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray containing flour.
In a large bowl mix together the melted unsalted butter with the white granulated sugar, large eggs and pure vanilla extract.
Stir in the baking soda and salt.
Stir in the white all-purpose flour, in 1/2 cup increments until it has all been used.
Fold in the sour cream.
Fold in the oven roasted bananas.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and smooth out the top.
Bake, in preheated oven, for 55 minutes.
Once baked, remove and let cool in loaf pan. Gently remove, slice and enjoy.
Ask and Answer: I have been answering some questions on my website about how to ensure a more moisture rich cake and wanted to share my thoughts here with you. For one, try not to overbake the cake. When you overbake a cake, there is no way to “fix it” to become moist. Remember to think about “carry over baking” when removing any baked good from the oven. Much like most anything else, things will continue to cook and bake slightly after removed from the oven. Another trick is brushing the tops of your cakes with a simple syrup while still hot.