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Author Notes: Not too much fat, nicely risen, so very tasty. I have tried so many banana bread recipes that were disappointing in taste, rise and crumb. Here is my creation that is really the best banana bread you will every bake. You can make a 9X5 loaf or 8 jumbo muffins. I experimented with cream cheese and butter and found that too much fat is a killer for a perfect crumb and rise. This recipe has a nice high crown with that signature crack in the middle. You can use all-purpose or white whole wheat flour and add nuts if you like more crunch. I use my stand mixer on low speed and add pieces of butter to the dry ingredients. This is the paste method and is a technique for high ratio cakes that prevents the batter from separating and bakes a finer textured cake. I learned this method of mixing cakes from Nick Malgieri in his book Perfect Cakes. He is a great baker and teacher. My experiment here worked nicely in this banana bread. What makes this banana bread even better is the Praline Toffee Crunch Topping. Enjoy. —Lorraine Fina Stevenski
Makes 16 slices
- 2 cups all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour (King Arthur is the best!)
- 1- 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 3/4 cup sugar, or 1/2 cup if you like less sweet
- 1/2 cup butter, 1 stick, softened but still cool
- 2-3 ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, lowfat or full fat OK
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup pecan pralines
- 1/4 cup toffee bits
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon sugar blend
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9X5 loaf pan with parchment and then lightly coating with canola cooking spray. Arrange the pan on a rimmed 1/4 sheet pan.
- To the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the butter pieces, one at a time until a sandy mixture is formed.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the bananas, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla. Continuing on low speed, add the banana mixture to the flour mixture. Beat on medium low speed just until smooth. The batter will be thick. Spread evenly in the loaf pan.
- Using a small food processor, coarsely grind all the topping ingredients. Sprinkle evenly over the batter. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees and then 325 degrees for another 30 minutes. Check with a tester after baking 45 minutes. Every oven is different. Cool in the pan 15 minutes and then turn out on a platter to cool. Serve warm or room temperature. Store at room temperature or refrigerate. This loaf freezes nicely.