I happen to love Banana Bread and over the years it has become one of my signature baked goods. I usually make it in small batches, mixed by hand, with lots of nuts, usually walnuts but also pecans. With or without chocolate chips. Using an Emile Henry Loaf Pan, muffin pans or Sur La Table Paper Loaf Pans.
For the past few years I've been alternating between my own recipe--tweaked over the past 15 or so years--, that of one of my closest friends, an heirloom recipe in their family for generations or various favorite recipes collected through the years.
The results are consistently wonderful. I use very good bananas, organic whenever possible. Sweet and ripe but at their peak of flavor, never past their prime or overripe. Fresh nuts. The best butter, sugar and salt I can buy.
Lately however, I have not been baking much Banana Bread. Instead, I’ve been buying it ready made. You see, I find myself absolutely hooked on Dahlia Bakery's Banana Loaf Bread. It is to die for! The perfect ratio of everything that is good and wholesome about traditional Banana Bread with a twist.
A crisp topping made of oats, butter, brown sugar and hazelnuts (filberts). This bread is moist and sweet but not cloying. Redolent of perfectly ripe bananas with that scrumptious crunchy topping that seals in both flavor and moisture and that I find myself picking at with my fingers as I ear the bread. And what a beautiful color!
The topping in itself is reason enough to pick up one or two loaves. I find myself thinking often of these babies and one too many times stopping by Dahlia on the way home to pick up one for home or the road. Not to mention the fact that it weighs about a pound which makes its price tag of $6 per loaf a true bargain. Dahlia Bakery offers this bread in individual portions and in the paper loaf pans. I started purchasing the individual mini breads but I loved the bread so much that now I just go for the mini loaves now.
So, next time you happen to find yourself near 4th and Virginia or crave a very good Banana Bread, this is the one you should go for. I've yet to find a better one in the city and it’s for sure, one of the best, if not the best Banana Bread I've ever had.