Monday, August 26, 2013

Banana Bread with Pecans

I am one of those people who buys bananas with the plan to let them turn nice and brown!  I'm not really one for grabbing a banana and eating it, but I do like banana bread (and banana doughnuts.... and banana muffins.... and banana cream cupcakes.... okay you get the point).  I especially liked the idea of a banana bread with pecans, because my mom always asks for nuts but I'm not a huge walnut fan, but pecans are a different story.

When my bananas were finally overripe, my timing wasn't perfect;  in fact, I was in my nice new clothes ready for my engagement shoot with Mark!  But I wasn't about to let a little photo shoot stop me from baking (yes I also made cinnamon rolls  dressed up for the shoot as well; Susie said I may be the only bride-to-be rolling out dough in an apron with her hair and makeup done!).

This bread was actually kind of fun to make.  I always like it when a recipe seems different from others, whether due to interesting ingredients or interesting steps; this recipe was cool because of what you actually do with the bananas!  Two of the bananas are whipped with sugar in a mixer to create a light, fluffy banana cream (I probably could have stopped at that point and happily eaten that), and then the other two are roughly mashed and folded into the dough.  This means that the whole bread has a really good banana taste, but there are also some banana bites in there as well (Kenzie and I loved the bites; Mom hated them.  Go figure).

The end result is a gorgeous bread that makes your whole house smell delicious.  It was moist and fluffy and full of pecans and banana flavor... and we scarfed it down pretty quickly.  It was a great pre-photo shoot snack :)


banana bread with pecans
from Tyler Florence on the Food Network

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 overripe bananas
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
confectionary sugar, for dusting (optional)


1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9x5" loaf pan.

2) In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt.  Set aside,

3) Mash 2 of the bananas in a small bowl with a fork so that they still have a bit of texture.  With an electric mixer fitted with the wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas together with the sugar for a good 3 minutes; you want a light and fluffy banana cream.

4) Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla.  Beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl.  Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated; no need to overly blend.  Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Give the pan a good rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.

5) Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.  Don't get nervous if the bread develops a crack down the center of the loaf; that's no mistake, it's typical.  Rotate the pan periodically to ensure even browning.

6) Cool the bread in the pan 10 minutes or so, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.  Suggested serving method: toast the slices of banana bread, dust with confectionary sugar, and serve.

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