America's Test Kitchen's recipe for their Ultimate Banana Bread solves the problem with a lot of the banana breads I've tasted in that
|loaf of banana bread fresh out of the oven|
|Exhibit A: ripe banana with spots and bruises - more flavor|
|Exhibit B: bright yellow and unripened banana - not as much flavor|
|Slice of Freshly Baked Banana Bread|
Ultimate Banana Bread RecipeAmerica's Test Kitchen - season 11, episode 8, Coffee Break Sweets
Makes one 9 in loaf
Ingredients6 large very ripe bananas (about 2¼ pounds), peeled (see note)
1¾ cups (8¾ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
2 tsp granulated sugar
¾ cup (5¼ ounces) packed light brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp table salt
8 tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional) [I used chopped walnuts but didn't bother toasting them]
Instructions1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and set oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk flour, salt, and baking soda together in large bowl.
2. Place 5 bananas in microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap and cut several steam vents in plastic with paring knife. Microwave on high power until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer bananas to fine-mesh strainer placed over medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes (you should have ½ to ¾ cup liquid).
3. Transfer liquid to medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir reduced liquid into bananas, and mash with potato masher until fairly smooth. Whisk in eggs, butter, brown sugar, and vanilla.
4. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined with some streaks of flour remaining. Gently fold in walnuts (optional) [do NOT exclude the walnuts - they're great for banana nut bread]. Scrape batter into prepared pan.
5. Slice remaining banana diagonally into ¼-inch-thick slices. Shingle banana slices on top of either side of loaf, leaving 1½-inch-wide space down center to ensure even rise. Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over loaf. [I skipped this step altogether]
6. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 55 to 75 minutes. Cool bread in pan on wire rack 15 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and continue to cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
|Video: America's Test Kitchen Chef Julia Collin Davison shows us how to make the Ultimate Banana Bread|