Ultimate Banana Bread

From America's Test Kitchen Season 11: Coffee Break Sweets

Why this recipe works:

We added banana flavor without introducing too much moisture to our banana bread recipe by microwaving the fruit and draining it. We then simmered the banana liquid in a saucepan until it reduced and incorporated it into the batter. We used brown sugar instead of granulated and swapped out oil… read more

We added banana flavor without introducing too much moisture to our banana bread recipe by microwaving the fruit and draining it. We then simmered the banana liquid in a saucepan until it reduced and incorporated it into the batter. We used brown sugar instead of granulated and swapped out oil for the nutty richness of butter. Toasted walnuts gave our banana bread recipe a pleasing crunch, and a sixth banana sliced thin and caramelized on top of the loaf gave our banana bread an enticingly crisp, crunchy top.

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Makes one 9-inch loaf

Be sure to use very ripe, heavily speckled (or even black) bananas in this recipe. This recipe can be made using 5 thawed frozen bananas; since they release a lot of liquid naturally, they can bypass the microwaving in step 2 and go directly into the fine-mesh strainer. Do not use a thawed frozen banana in step 4; it will be too soft to slice. Instead, simply sprinkle the top of the loaf with sugar. The test kitchen’s preferred loaf pan measures 8½ by 4½ inches; if you use a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, start checking for doneness five minutes earlier than advised in the recipe. The texture is best when the loaf is eaten fresh, but it can be stored (cool completely first), covered tightly with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.

Ingredients

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