dry banana bread with baking illustrated recipe

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by pastrycake, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. pastrycake


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    • 2 cups  all purpose flour
    • 1 1/4 cups walnuts, chopped coarse (optional)
    • 3/4 cup of sugar
    • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 1/2 cups very ripe, soft, darkly speckled large bananas, mashed well (~3 bananas)
    • 1/3 cup plain yogurt
    • 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (3/4 stick)
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease the bottom/sides of a 9 by 5 loaf pan. If your walnuts aren’t toasted, spread them on a baking sheet and toast them until fragrant for 5-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

    Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and walnuts together in a large bowl. Set aside

    Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined. The batter should look thick and chunky. Scrape into the loaf pan.

    Bake for just under 60 minutes

    I  have tried several other recipes including Cooks Illustrated ultimate banana bread where they cook down the banana juice into to syrup.  Both of these recipes uses melted butter to make it moist but did not turned out that way.  I have tried recipes with sour cream, buttermilk, and now yogurt.  I would like to use butter if possible, but may resort to oil if that is the only way.

    I know oil will make it moist but to me it is greasy tasting.  Please advice or share your go to banana bread that is moist and great banana flavor.    I want a simple recipe to use up old bananas.

  2. missyd


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    Professional Baker
    I have a secret recipe for my grandmothers banana bread - have baked it 100's of times results are always great.  If you are still looking I can always send it to you & also with variations that I have used as well :)
  3. prettycake

    prettycake Banned

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    I add a can of crushed pineapple. Very tasty.
  4. ed buchanan

    ed buchanan

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    Culinary Instructor
    I cream the butter and sugar  and also use baking powder.  In ratio to other ingredients you use a lot of nuts..  I also puree the bananas in processor.      Your yogurt would react like baking powder, so you don't need to add.  Golden raisins or craisins may be added.
  5. pastrycake


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    The american test kitchen stated that melted butter would give better results.  But I may try use soften butter and the creaming method.  Thanks Ed.   Also, I may just stick with sour cream or buttermilk even though they proved that sour cream makes it heavy.  I am really lookiing for a simple recipe without bring out the processor and all. Just stir in one bowl to use up old bananas.

    I have even seen recipes with shortening as well as oil.  Maybe dry banana bread is something that goes with using butter. Gotta live with it I guess.
  6. brianshaw


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    Former Chef
    It is obvious that America's Test Kitchen does extensive experimentation but more than once I found their results to be either way too fussy for me... or it just didn't work as they say it does.  Perhaps this is one of htose times??

    Here is an simple, old-tymey classic recipe that really works -- one bowl , preferably a mixer but can be done by hand if desired -- there is no excuse for dry banana bread unless it is left on the counter uncovered and goes stale (courtesy of Craig Clairborne):

    1 3/4 c flour

    2 tsp baking powder

    1/4 tsp soda

    1/2 tsp salt

    1/3 c shortening

    2/3 c sugar

    2 eggs, large, beaten

    1 c banana, mashed (2 or 3)

    Make using creaming method.  Greased bread pan.  350 degF for 60 - 70 min.

    Note: bananas need to be REALLY ripe -- as in spotted with black.  I tend to just throw them in with the wet ingredients prior to adding the dry rather than mashing and mixing into the completed batter.

    Test and remove from oven immediately when tester comes out clean.

    Tastes good plain, or slathered with butter, or toasted and slathered with butter.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
  7. pastrycake


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    update:  I watched you tube and found a recipe using the creaming butter and sugar method, also used sour cream and 6 bananas.  It turned out moist but kind of sweet..I am wondering If I can cut down the sugar without compromising the texture.  It is baked in a bundt and came off out really moist!

    1 stick butter, soften

    1 1/2 cup sugar

    2 eggs

    2 c flour

    1 tsp baking powder

    1/2 tsp baking soda

    4 tbsp sour cream

    6 bananas

    1 tsp vanilla extract

    P.S I added a handful of dark chocolate chips

    BrianShaw:  I will give your recipe a try next! 

    What yall think about cutting back sugar to 1 cup?  6 bananas if alot so that may be enough to sweeten it?
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  8. jellly


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    Professional Pastry Chef
    At least on the surface that recipes seems like it should be quite good.  Since you mention that you have also tried other banana bread recipes that haven't worked I wonder if perhaps your oven may be contributing to the problem.  Do you have trouble with other baked goods?  I had an apartment once with a crummy oven.  I could bake the same exact thing at work and it would be delicious, but at home there were always problems.

    Also, make sure the bananas are very ripe - this will add more moisture and flavor to the batter.
  9. siduri


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    At home cook
    I was about to say the same exact thing Brian.  america's test kitchen recipes are way too fussy.  Sometimes the simpler recipe is best.  They do have some great ones, but sometimes less is more.  Boiling down banana juice, that's the ultimate fussiness.  Bananas don;t even HAVE juice! 


    i have great success with an even simpler recipe, that has no butter, oil or other fat at all.  Yet is moist and not too cakey, a real banana bread.  Comes from the fanny farmer cookbook. 

    And i don't care what anyone says, what makes banana bread moist is the bananas!

    3 ripe bananas well mashed

    2 eggs

    2 cups flour

    3/4 cups sugar

    1 tsp salt

    1 tsp baking soda

    1/2 cup walnuts (and/or raisins)

    preheat oven to 350

    Grease loaf pan. 

    Whisk bananas, sugar and eggs together, stir in flour, salt and baking soda.  Add walnuts/raisins and stir in. 

    Bake 1 hour (i usually check around 45 - 50 min)