Banana Bread is one of my favorite things to bake mainly because bananas are one of my favorite tropical fruits. Its aromatic, moist and a perfect breakfast treat.
And just in time for this month's edition of Owen's The Paper Chef I was aiming to improve on an already pretty tasty recipe with the addition of three of the event's required elements: dates, honey and buttermilk (eggs was the 4th).
After tweaking with the proportions and ingredients of my basic recipe for Banana Nut Bread this was the outcome: a new and improved banana bread.
This one is very fragrant, ultra moist (thanks to the buttermilk), sweet but not cloying (honey and ripe bananas did the trick I think), lower in fat--funny enough, because that was not my aim-- than the usual loaf while retaining the classic banana bread character, color, beautiful texture and crumb.
I baked it right after coming home from work, just before dinner with about an hour for cooling the bread and taking a few snapshots. This was not supposed to be dessert tonight but rather breakfast tomorrow morning, however the wonderful scent coming out of the oven proved to be too much of a temptation.
To top it off it split down the center as if coached to do so--with a knife, by hand, about 20 minutes into the baking process, à la Pierre Hermé--only I did not. Magic! I quickly devoured one of the two small mini breads, still warm out of oven...for research purposes, of course.
Tomorrow should be even better...
Buttermilk-Honey Banana Bread
2 large eggs
¾ cup sugar
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter loaf pan with a teaspoon of melted butter and lightly dust with flour. In the bowl on a Kitchen Aid beat the eggs with the sugar on medium high until thick and light--about 5 minutes. Add mashed bananas, buttermilk, walnuts, honey, dates, oil, remaining butter and vanilla.
Add sifted flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt mixture to the wet ingredients and beat just until combined. Transfer batter to pan and bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean and top is golden brown (about 1 hour). Turn bread out onto rack and cool.
*Next time I am switching the buttermilk for homemade yogurt and see how it comes out.