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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Banana Nut Bread with Pecans/Walnuts Recipe

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This is probably the best banana nut bread recipe I have ever had. It's adapted from one at Food Network's own masterful bakers, Tyler Florence. Lastly, for the record, this recipe is much easier if you have lots of bowls and a mixing stand available at your disposal. You can still whisk if you'd like, it just takes a lot longer.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (wheat substitution works, too)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 4 overripe bananas (you're looking for a dark brown skin)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, finely chopped
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together (in a separate bowl) for a good 3 minutes; you want a light and fluffy banana cream. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla; beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated; no need to overly blend. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Give the pan a good rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.

Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Don't get nervous if the banana bread develops a crack down the center of the loaf; that's no mistake, it's typical. Rotate the pan periodically to ensure even browning.

Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes or so, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Toast the slices of banana bread, dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve.

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