Sep 15, 2010

Recipe of the Week: Best Banana Bread Ever (Really)

Everybody says their banana bread recipe is the best. And I'm sure they are all very, very good. But this one truly takes the cake, with the perfect combination of a crunchy crust atop a soft and moist inside.  And it stays that way for several days; no dry banana bread here - assuming it sticks around that long!

National Banana Bread day is February 23. I thought about holding off on posting this until then, but this recipe is just too good to not share. And you'll have plenty of time to mark the date and whip up a loaf in February so you can impress family, friends and co-workers with your knowledge of obscure holidays, served up with a scrumptious slice of delectable sweet bread.

Sour Cream Banana Bread

3/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine, softened
2 1/4 cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup sour cream (you can substitute plain or vanilla yogurt)
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3 cups flour
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (black walnuts are my personal fave for this recipe)

Grease two 5x9 loaf pans; set aside. Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugar in large mixing bowl. Beat in eggs, sour cream, vanilla and soda until creamy. Add flour gradually, mixing well after each addition. Fold in bananas and nuts. Divide among pans and bake 45 to one hour or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. (You may need to cover the top during the last 15-20 minutes to prevent overbrowning.)

As much as I love this recipe, I can't take responsibility for crafting this masterpiece - I clipped it from a newspaper many moons ago (and didn't even note the source - bad me!) I have modified it - this is 50% more than the original recipe.  In its original proportions, it was really too much batter for a single loaf pan, but increasing it by half is just enough to make two nice-sized loaves - make one nut-free if you need to.  You can also  double this recipe and divide among several mini-loaf pans for Christmas goodies. (Drop in some mini chocolate chips with the nuts for an extra-fabulous flavor.)

Happy baking!