Sunday, November 21, 2010

Banana Bread

This Banana Bread is a winner. Our recipe today is a delicious, moist, sweet bread from Flour owner and chef, Joanne Chang. 

Joanne Chang is a rock star. She owns and operates 3 bakery cafes in Boston, co-owns Boston restaurant Myers + Chang, beat Bobby Flay in a Throwdown with her Sticky Buns, prints and shares her prized recipes and she's super nice.
  
Last month I had the pleasure of attending a baking demonstration and book signing for Joanne Chang's new book, Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Bostons Flour's Bakery + Cafe.  While at the event, she made a recipe for homemade Pop Tarts, answered questions, signed books, smiled for pictures and had a small chat with each person waiting in line to meet her. 

I've been to her cafe in Boston's South End a few times.  Everything in the store looks amazing and is crowded no matter when you pay a visit.  She has a Triple Chocolate Mousse cake that is to die for and even makes homemade Oreos.  I've tried three recipes from her book, all three were scrumptious.  

The Flour cookbook is filled with tasty treats, life stories and awesome tips.  If you have the opportunity to check out Joanne Chang's book or cafes, I promise it is well worth it.  

Make life sweeter.....eat dessert first - Joanne Chang

Flour's Famous Banana Bread
(makes one 9-inch loaf)

1 1/2 C. Flour
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Kosher Salt
1 C. & 2 Tbsp Sugar
2 Eggs
1/2 C. Canola Oil
1 1/2 C. Very Ripe Bananas, peeled and mashed
2 Tbsp Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
3/4 C. Walnut Halves, toasted and chopped

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 325. Butter a 9X5 inch loaf pan.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Set aside

Using a stand mixer (fitted with the whip attachment) or a handheld mixer, beat together the sugar and eggs on medium speed for about 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. (If you use a handheld mixer, this same step will take about 8 minutes)

On low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil.  Add oil slowly so it will have time to incorporate into the eggs/sugar mixture. This step should take about 1 minute.  Add the bananas, creme fraiche, and vanilla. Continue to mix on low speed just until combined.

Using a rubber spatula, fold in the flour mixture and nuts just until thoroughly combined.  No flour streaks should be visible, and the nuts should be evenly distributed.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until golden brown. The center of the banana bread should spring back if pressed. 

Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least 30 min. After 30 min is up, pop out of pan to finish cooling.

Banana Bread can be stored tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 days at room temp.  Or, it can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen for up to 2 weeks; thaw overnight at room temp for serving.

Let's get started




Time to fold in the Walnuts




Cooling Off




Finally ready to serve




Going........




Going........




Gone!
(As you can see, no need to freeze any leftovers)


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