Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bon Appetit's Best Banana Bread

Do you have a favorite banana bread recipe?  The one your mom, grandma, or aunt made all the time?  The one they brought to each and every family gathering?

Whether you do or don't, I'm here to throw this one into the mix.  Bon Appétit calls it their favorite.  To be honest, I can't really say it's my favorite.  What I can say is it's a great option for when you want a nice, sturdy, not-so-sweet banana bread.  It really was great for toasting and smearing with a bit of butter or leftover mascarpone.  With a cup of coffee, it really was quite the breakfast or afternoon snack.

My mom is actually the one who made this back when she was here taking care of me after my surgery.  It smelled fantastic as it was baking.  We not-so-patiently waited for it too cool before cutting into it.  Then...disappointment.  All those bananas and rich mascarpone and there just wasn't much flavor.  But the next day?  There it was--a tangy, rich, banana flavor unlike any banana bread I'd ever had before.

So would I make this again?  Yes, I think I would.  I'd just make sure to fix it the night before I need it.  Because what good is banana bread if it isn't packed with that familiar banana flavor?

With four bananas and a healthy dollop of mascarpone, this sturdy banana bread is tangy, rich, and just perfect for toasting.

Bon Appétit's Best Banana Bread
from Bon Appétit, August 2014

nonstick baking spray
1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. Kosher salt
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/3 c. mascarpone
1/4 c. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
4 large very ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 c.)
1/2 c. chopped walnuts (optional)
1/2 c. bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips (optional)

1.  Preheat oven to 350° F.  Spray a standard-sized loaf pan with baking spray.

2.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside.

3.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat brown sugar, mascarpone, and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition until blended.

4.  Reduce speed to low, add flour mixture, and mix until just combined.  Add bananas and mix until just combined.  Fold in chocolate and/or walnuts, if using.  Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth out the top.

5.  Bake until a tester inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, 60-65 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack, about 1 hour.  Turn bread out and let cool completely.  Wrap tightly with plastic wrap.  Let stand at least 6 hours before slicing, optimally overnight.

Yield: 1 loaf


Lexie Rochelle said...

I remember how amazed we were when this bread tasted so much better the next day, and how quickly we finished it after that! While the reason I was there with you wasn't so good, I am glad we got to find a new recipe together. In fact, I can't wait to make it together again very soon.