Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Super Moist Banana Bread

Super Moist Banana (Nut) Bread, from The Weekend Baker -- Abigail Johnson Dodge

1 3/4 Cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Table Salt
3 medium, very ripe bananas (about 14 ounces), peeled
3/4 Cup firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
1/3 Cup Canola or Corn Oil
2 Large Eggs
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
2/3 Cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted, optional

1. Position oven rack on the middle rung. Heat the oven to 350° (375° for muffins). Lightly grease and flour a loaf pan (around 8x4.5"-to-8x5"). **For muffins, line 12 regular-sized muffin cups with foil or paper liners.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until well blended. In a large bowl, combine the bananas, brown sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer (stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or handheld mixer) on medium speed until well blended with only small bits of banana visible. Pour in the dry ingredients and gently stir with a rubber spatula just until blended. If using the nuts, add them when the flour is almost blended and stir to incorporate.

3. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack to cool for 15 minutes. Using a thin knife, gently loosen the cake from the pan sides and slip it out of the pan. Tip the loaf on its side and let cool on the rack until warm or at room temperature.

**For muffins: Scoop the batter into lined muffin cups, dividing evenly. They will be almost full. Gently tap the pan on the counter top to settle the batter. Bake until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center of 1 muffin comes out clean, about 18 minutes. Transfer the muffin pan to a rack to cool for 10 minutes, and then carefully remove the muffins from the pan and set them on the rack to cool. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Storage: Cover the cooled muffins/bread with plastic wrap and store at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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