Ultimate banana bread
I’m sure you have several recipes for banana bread…so do I, but after coming across this recipe I have pretty much tossed the others. When I first saw the recipe on America’s Test Kitchen, I just happened to have 3 very ripe bananas on the counter. I made half the original recipe and it turned out just fantastic. I have made and shared this bread several times now. It sure is a keeper.
3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour1/2 teaspoon baking soda1/4 teaspoon table salt3 large very ripe bananas4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly1 large egg1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)1 teaspoon granulated sugarDirectionsPreheat oven to 350º. Spray two mini loaf pans (5 3/4 x 3 1/4 x 2 1/4) with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl.Place 2 1/2 bananas in microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap and cut several steam vents in plastic with paring knife. Microwave on high power until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 2 minutes. Transfer bananas to fine-mesh strainer placed over a bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes (you should have 1/4 to 1/3 cup liquid).Transfer liquid to small saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir reduced liquid into bananas, and mash with potato masher until fairly smooth. Whisk in butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla.Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined with some streaks of flour remaining. Gently fold in dried cranberries and walnuts, if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan.Slice remaining half banana diagonally into 1/4-inch-thick half moon slices. Shingle banana slices on top of either side of loaf, leaving 1 1/2-inch-wide space down center to ensure even rise. Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over loaf.