I had a slew of bananas that became overly ripe recently, so I decided to test out a couple of new banana bread recipes. There were two that produced great tasting and textured banana breads. For your enjoyment I am going to post both recipes. One of the recipes is from Cook's Illustrated with a minor adaption and the other is from Cooking Light. I tried a couple other recipes, but they didn't make the cut.
I made the Cook's Illustrated recipe first and it came out looking gorgeous. It has a golden crust with a high rise and a clean and almost cream-colored interior. It tastes mainly of sweet banana because it doesn't have any added spices. The texture was moist without being heavy and it had a sweet, but not shockingly sweet flavor. Also, it was super easy to prepare.
The other loaf of banana bread I made was from Cooking Light magazine. It was a healthier version of banana bread. Cale and Bean both really liked it, it didn't have a high dome and because of the flax (I suspect) it had a darker interior. However, the crumb was moist, not dense, and the flavor of the bread was sweet and a little nutty. It had a lot more spices and you can taste the cinnamon, but they accentuated the flavor of the banana. Because Bean cannot have nuts I excluded them. I imagine if you like walnuts in banana bread; both of these recipes would be wonderful with the addition of toasted nuts.
To finish the taste test, I toasted up a slice of each bread and smeared it with a little mascarpone cheese. Then I had Cale taste each one. He thought they were both good, but he liked the Cook's Illustrated recipe the best. It figures, healthy eating isn't always at the top of Cale's list.
I'll be using the Cooking Light recipe more at home, only because it is a little healthier. However, as a special treat or if I'm taking it to someone...I'll definitely make the Cook's Illustrated version.
adapted slightly from Cook's Illustrated
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well about 1 1/2 cups
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten slightly
6 tablespoons salted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make sure oven rack should be in lower middle position. Heat oven to 350ºF. Grease bottom only of regular loaf pan, or grease and flour bottom and sides of a nonstick loaf pan.
Combine flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold banana mixture into dry ingredients with a 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.
adapted slightly from Cooking Light magazine
- 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana
- 1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 6 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed. Add granulated and brown sugars; beat until combined.
- Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through ground allspice). Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool completely.