To make banana bread with leftover bananas and give crème fraîche another chance. I'm kind of particular when it comes to banana bread (ok fine, I'm kind of particular in general). I'm a lot better at knowing what I don't like than I am knowing what I do like. When it comes to banana bread, I don't like cinnamon and I don't like chocolate chips. I do, however, like nuts. My go-to recipe for years has been a one bowl, one spoon version from Simply Recipes. My biggest complaint is that the crust comes out super dark. I love that it doesn't require sifting or a mixer, which makes it accessible to everyone. The recipe I'm making here is a little more complicated in that it requires a sifter and, unless you want to whisk by hand for 10 minutes, an electric mixer. Recipe adpated from Flour's Famous Banana Bread Recipe. Makes one loaf.
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt, heaping
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
3 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
2 tablespoons crème fraîche (for lower fat use sour cream)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup pecans (or walnuts), chopped and toasted
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line the bottom of a 9"x5" loaf pan with parchment paper and grease the inside of the pan.
2. Sift together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
3. Beat sugar and eggs with a whisk until they are light and fluffy (I whisked them on medium speed on my mixer for 5 minutes).
4. Keep whisking and drizzle in the oil.
5. Turn the mixer off. Mix in the bananas, crème fraîche and vanilla.
6. Fold in the dry ingredients and nuts.
7. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake until a cake tester comes out clean (for me, at least 70-75 minutes, but I would start checking it around 50 minutes).
The crust is very dark. The center is light and moist. The flavor is very banana-y and delicious!
Discussion and Future Directions
This banana bread is worth the extra effort! The flavor is wonderful, as is the texture. I visited some friends on Sunday night and took them half of the loaf because I knew it would be a bad idea to keep it in the house! The only real complaint I have is that the crust is borderline burned. I say borderline because as a kid, I would have called it burned, but as an adult I can tolerate the flavor a lot more. Next time I would try reducing the cooking time and making mini-loaves. I can't quite judge how many loaves to make because the batter did rise quite a bit in the oven (maybe 3 or 4 little loaves?). However, I think baking the batter into smaller loaves would help the middle cook more proportionately to the crust. With smaller loaves, I have some fear that the middle will dry out before the crust browns, but it's worth the risk. This will definitely be my new go-to banana bread recipe. Next time you have overripe bananas, give this a try! I promise you won't regret it (unless you eat the whole loaf in one sitting and make yourself sick)!