Thursday, November 12, 2009
You may think this is hyperbole, especially if your past banana bread experiences have been of the gummy, leaden loaf variety. But this one is a one-way ticket to fluffy, delicate and ridiculously delicious quick bread heaven. Like my last banana bread variation, this one has its roots in Mark Bittman's base recipe. Unlike my last banana bread variation (although it was perfectly serviceable), this one is legitimately transcendental. Enjoy!Grease up a loaf pan with plenty of butter and preheat the oven at 350. While you have the butter out, leave 1 stick of it out to get soft because you'll be creaming it and it's annoying to try to cream cold butter. Mix together 2 cups white flour 1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 3/4 cups sugar, and 1 teaspoon each cinnamon and cardamon. Add in 1/4 cup of flax seeds. These are key. Now get your stick of butter together with 2 eggs...And add in 3 large, very ripe bananas. Get these all beat up well together. Mix in 1/2 cup of almond butter. This is also key. Between this and the flax seeds, we're talking secret ingredients here. The most recent time I tested this recipe I used peanut butter because I was out of almond butter, and it's good too. Almond butter is absolutely preferable, but if you don't happen to have it on hand but are just dying to make banana bread, go ahead and use peanut instead. It will still be awesome.Once you've incorporated the almond butter into the banana-egg-butter mixture, pour it all into the dry ingredients. Stir it well to combine but do not mix more than necessary. Add vanilla or almond extract (I used a combination of both, actually) and 1/2 cup chopped pecans. I used almonds this time but I think pecans bake up better. Now pour your batter into your buttered loaf pan. Sprinkle a layer of turbinado sugar over the top of the loaf and bake for about 1 hour. Test it with a wooden toothpick--it should come out clean. Let cool for at least 15 minutes, then remove from pan.Allow to more or less cool before slicing unless you are very very hungry.