Banana Walnut Bread

My mom used to make banana bread all of the time, and I never understood it. I love bananas, but cannot stand the smell or taste of them when cooked. Then there is my dad who does not like bananas that much normally, but loves banana bread–go figure! Of course my dad likes it when I make it for him, so I willingly suffer through the smells so that he gets his bread. Unlike other treats I might make him, I am never tempted to taste test this. The first time I ever made it I made a double batch and made muffins with the second batch so that my husband could test them to make sure the recipe was okay. (Hence the loads of bananas in my picture).

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You can use walnuts, or other nuts…or no nuts! It really doesn’t matter. My dad is a walnut man, so that is what he got! To toast the walnuts, I prefer using a small pan on medium low heat and I just dry roast them, stirring occasionally for a few minutes until they get lightly browned and smell really good. You can buy them pre-chopped if you like. This most recent time I tried to save a few cents by buying in the bulk aisle, but to be honest…I think it cost about the same! Oh well. Maybe these were really awesome walnuts.

The muffins pictured above are not the banana muffins. In fact, they are the other treat my dad received this month. For his birthday month, I thought it appropriate to give him not just 1 treat, but 2! He was quite surprised. Both treats were ones I’m not a big fan of, but I will discuss that more in the next post.

Directions for Banana (Wal)Nut Bread

Slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 very-ripe bananas (or slightly ripe—see step 1 below), about 1.5 cups
  • ½ stick (4 Tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon citrus extract (optional) (I used this emulsion from King Arthur Flour)
  • ¾ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (separated, optional)

If your bananas are not nice and brown, while the oven is preheating to 350 degrees, have a baking sheet with the bananas on it in the oven. They will roast and become perfect for the bread. Be sure to let them cool for a few minutes before opening them and mashing them.

Enough bananas for a double batch!

Enough bananas for a double batch!

Prepare a loaf pan (8.5 inches by 4.5 inches is the normal size) with some baking spray. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

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Whisk the mashed bananas, butter, eggs, yogurt, vanilla extract, and citrus extract together in a different bowl.

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Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture. Just before it is combined, add ½ cup of walnuts (if using), stirring until the mixture is well-combined.

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Muffin form works well, too!

Muffin form works well, too!

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Top with the remaining walnuts (if using). Bake for about 1 hour until it is golden brown and a long cake tester or a knife (be gentle) comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes before removing it from its pan and cooling on a rack for at least 1 hour.

IMG_6438

Muffin form

Muffin form

Directions for Banana (Wal)Nut Bread (without pictures)

Slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook

  • 2 cups flour
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 very-ripe bananas (or slightly ripe—see step 1 below), about 1.5 cups
  • ½ stick (4 Tablespoons) butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon citrus extract (optional) (I used this emulsion from King Arthur Flour)
  • ¾ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped (separated, optional)

If your bananas are not nice and brown, while the oven is preheating to 350 degrees, have a baking sheet with the bananas on it in the oven. They will roast and become perfect for the bread. Be sure to let them cool for a few minutes before opening them and mashing them.

Prepare a loaf pan (8.5 inches by 4.5 inches is the normal size) with some baking spray. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk the mashed bananas, butter, eggs, yogurt, vanilla extract, and citrus extract together in a different bowl. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture. Just before it is combined, add ½ cup of walnuts (if using), stirring until the mixture is well-combined.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top. Top with the remaining walnuts (if using). Bake for about 1 hour until it is golden brown and a long cake tester or a knife (be gentle) comes out with just a few crumbs attached. Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes before removing it from its pan and cooling on a rack for at least 1 hour.

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7 thoughts on “Banana Walnut Bread

  1. I had to re-read what you wrote there! I can’t believe you don’t like the smell of banana bread/muffins baking! haha – I love your honesty. Personally, I LOVE the smell of it but to each her own. Your bread and muffins look terrific. I love the walnuts on top but when I make banana things, I have to leave half w/o nuts for my little guy. I never ate banana baked goods growing up…now I bake banana bread and muffins all the time (I have my 2 favorite recipes I make a lot). Hope your dad enjoyed your goodies. : )

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