Friday, December 10, 2010

Banana-Walnut Bread - Boston's Flour Bakery Recipe

It's been several months since I've had two days off from work in a row and this week is the first of, I hope, many more to come. Since I had "more" time to rest this week, I decided to bake. Yup, most people go out, drink and be merry. Me? I like to cook and bake. So, in the past two days, I baked a cheesecake and this banana-walnut bread and made beef taco and roasted 5-spice chicken for dinner. In between, I wrote a couple of movie reviews, killed about a thousand zombies (in a videogame) and watched some TV and an excellent South Korean film titled, Mother.

But I digress. We are here to talk about the banana-walnut bread and that we shall. I just purchased Chef Joanne Chang's cookbook: Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe and decided to try out the first recipe from it: Flour's Famous Banana Bread. And I must say that it turned out pretty well.

Here are the ingredients:
1.5 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 very ripe bananas (peeled & mashed)
3/4 cup toasted walnuts (chopped)

In a bowl, sift and mix the dry ingredients of flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set that aside. Using a stand mixer with a whip attachment, beat together the eggs and sugar until light and fluffy (about 5 minutes on medium speed). Now, push the mixer speed down to low and slowly drizzle in the oil. Add it slowly so that the oil has time to incorporate into the eggs and doesn't deflate the air that has just been beaten into the batter. Next, add the bananas, vanilla extract and sour cream and continue mixing at low speed until everything is fully incorporated.

When done, remove the bowl from the mixer and using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients, together with the walnuts from earlier into the batter. Make sure that everything is mixed thoroughly and no flour streaks are visible. Pour the batter into a pan-sprayed 9-inch loaf pan. Pre-heat your oven to 325°F and baked for 60-75 minutes. When done, the center should spring back when you press on it. Let it cool for 30 minutes and then pop it out of the pan and what are you waiting for? Start eating!

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