Flour’s Famous Banana Bread

I love banana bread. A whole lot.

I have over 30 different recipes for banana bread and dozens more for banana muffins and banana cakes.

The Huffington-Post just linked to eight of my recipes in their recent Every Banana Bread Recipe You Could Possibly Want article.

I’m always up for trying new banana bread recipes and when I stumbled on a recipe from the famous Flour Bakery and Cafe of Boston in the Flour cookbook and on Food Network with 544 five-star reviews, I was eager to give it a try to see how it compared to one of my all-time favorites.

The banana bread is soft, very moist thanks to the use of oil rather than butter, and perfectly dense. I like angel food cake to be light and airy but never my banana bread. If you like denser banana bread with substance, you’ll love this one.

I mostly stayed true to the Flour recipe although it called for 3 1/2 bananas and I used three. Typically in banana bread recipes the estimate is that one medium/large banana yields one-half cup of mashed banana. I had a solid one and a half cups of mashed banana.

I slightly reduced the sugar and slightly increased the flour. The bread was plenty sweet even with the sugar reduction and the extra flour firmed up the batter so it wasn’t too thin.

Because I find banana bread notoriously difficult to cook through before the edges and top become overly browned when baked as one large 9×5-inch loaf, I split the batter between two 8×4-inch loaf pans..

That way there’s one loaf to eat fresh, and one loaf to freeze or give away. Just kidding.

We’re such banana bread fiends that the first loaf was gone the first day and we moved onto the second loaf the next day. I wouldn’t say it’s ‘better than’ my favorite, but it’s very good and you can never have too many ways to use ripe bananas.

And in case you missed it, Monday was National Banana Bread Day but I don’t need a holiday to make banana bread.

Flour's Famous Banana Bread

I tried the banana bread recipe from the famous Flour Bakery and Cafe of Boston to see how it compared to one of my own favorite recipes. The banana bread is soft, very moist thanks to the use of oil rather than butter, and perfectly dense. If you like denser banana bread with substance, you’ll love this one. Because I find banana bread notoriously difficult to cook through before the edges and top become overly browned when baking in a large loaf pan, I split the batter between two 8×4-inch loaf pans and that way there’s one loaf to eat fresh, and one loaf to freeze or give away.

Ingredients:

2 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 medium/large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about 1 1/2 cups when mashed)
2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream (Greek yogurt may be substituted; I used lite sour cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 8×4-inch loaf pans with floured cooking spray, or grease and flour the pans; set aside.
  2. To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or large mixing bowl and electric mixer) add the eggs, sugar, and beat on medium-high speed until smooth, well-combined, and mixture is golden yellow in color, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and with the mixer running on low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil. Don’t dump it all in at once. Beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the bananas, sour cream, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until combined, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Stop, scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and beat on low speed until just combined, about 1 minute.
  6. Turn batter out into prepared pans, smoothing the tops lightly with a spatula if necessary, and bake for about 35 to 40 minutes (I baked 37 minutes), or until tops are domed, set, a toothpick inserted in the center crack comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter. Optionally, in the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking, tent pans with foil (loosely drape a sheet of foil over pans) to prevent excessive browning on the top and sides of bread before center cooks through.
  7. Remove pans from oven and allow to them to cool on top of a wire rack for about 15 to 30 minutes before turning out onto rack to cool completely. Bread will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Adapted from the Flour cookbook and Food Network

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