We’ve hit a balmy 34 degrees here in Minneapolis today, and it reminded me that before too long (please, please, please!) we’ll be in the temperature range that makes my oven go into hibernation. There are always a few recipes that I bake during the cold months, in particular, banana bread. Especially since finding that Frank’s nephew took half a loaf home and ate it in a day. I better get one more batch in before we hit 50 degrees (again, please, please, please!). This recipe is one of my favorites, from Best New Recipes Cookbook, a la Cooks Illustrated. You get plenty of banana flavor, bread-like carb loading but with the moistness that makes it taste like a treat.
Cooks Illustrated Banana Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, unbleached
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 1/4 cups walnuts, toasted, chopped coarse (about 1 cup)
- 3 bananas, very ripe, soft, darkly speckled, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Adjust oven rack to lower middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of regular loaf pan, or grease and flour bottom and sides of nonstick 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. Combine first five ingredients together in large bowl; set aside.
Mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with wooden spoon in medium bowl. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with rubber spatula until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape batter into prepared loaf pan; bake until loaf is golden brown and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.