Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Banana walnut bread 香蕉核桃麵包

Recently we had such beautiful fall weather. Not too cold, not too hot, and the sun and the breeze are just lovely. It is so nice to talk a walk outside after lunch. We went grocery shopping after work. The sum of the price for all the things we buy at the end is always astonishing. Every single item is inexpensive, but they do add up. I wonder if we really save any money. However, one thing I often check is banana. I love bananas. They are sweet and filling. Good for breakfast, snack and any time you want a sweet boost.
Banana and walnuts are such a great combination, which makes the banana bread irresistible. Thanks to America's Test Kitchen. They developed the best recipe for banana bread. It has a lot of flavor and soft, but I have to say it is pretty fattening too. Good for an occasional indulgence, not for everyday consumption. :-) 

Ultimate Banana Bread (one 8" x 4" loaf pan):
  • 1 3/4 cups (8 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 6 large very ripe bananas (about 2 1/4 pounds with skin)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup walnuts , toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt 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 butter, eggs, 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, if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan. 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.

5. 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.

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