Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sour Cream Banana Bread

There is no finer fruit than the banana. What other fruit can see potential in when rotten?? Bananas are similar to plantains in that they can be used in different ways in their various stages of the ripening process. A green, unripe banana is less sweet and can be used in a few ways. I have to admit I've never made anything with a green banana so maybe I'll challenge myself one day soon. A perfectly yellow, ripe banana can be eaten as is, sliced into cereal, enjoyed with a slather of peanut butter... you get the gist. An overripe banana means DESSERT!!! When I see overripe bananas I see banana bread, I see banana muffins, I see mini-banana cupcakes. All sorts of yummy baked goods. I was on a kick in which I baked various overripe banana goodies and had shared some with co-workers. One day my co-worker mentioned that he had some overripe bananas and his goal was to best my creation. By the way, that creation was this. And let me tell you, it was SO GOOD! In fact, because I love you, I will recreate that recipe one day soon so I can capture the process... recreating it has nothing to do with the fact that I'll get to enjoy it again. :)

Okay so back to my co-worker. So of course when I hear he has NINE overripe bananas I ask (okay, so I kinda begged) that he please bring me two so I can make something. He agrees and then the next day he hands over two bags of overripe bananas!!! I guess he decided trying to beat me at baking was futile and decided to throw in the towel before even trying. At first I was like WTF but then I got kind of excited and starting looking for overripe banana recipes to try out. I made some Banana Pumpkin mini-muffins, Oatmeal Banana bread and Banana Sour Cream Bread. I picked this Banana Sour Cream Bread recipe because of it's rave reviews. How could I not try it out?? So after setting the over to preheat at 300 degrees, here's what I gathered up to use.

I halved the original recipe because I wanted to make a couple of different banana bread recipes and figured two loaves of this one would be plenty. The first thing I did was spray my glass bread loaf pan with cooking spray. The next step is to mix 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. I set half aside and sprinkled the other half over the bottom of the glass bread pan. So here's a secret. I forgot to half that part of the recipe so it was twice as much as topping as each loaf was supposed to have. Was that a bad thing?? Nope! It gave the bread a nice, caramelized sweet bottom crust.

Next I threw the softened butter and sugar together. You don't add the eggs to this portion so it was a bit drier than when you mix butter and sugar together for cookies, for example. Just make sure you've got it pretty evenly mixed and you're good to go.

Into the mixing bowl I added the mashed bananas, eggs, vanilla and sour cream. In a seperate bowl I mixed the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking soda together. Once combined I added this dry mixture to the large bowl containing the wet mixture. Although I used my KitchenAid mixer to combine the sugar and butter, I hand mixed the other ingredients together as suggested in one of the reviews, which helped avoid over-mixing the batter. After adding about 1/2 cup of chopped macadamia nuts, I poured the batter into the sugar-cinnamon coated loaf pan and baked it for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Actually I'm pretty sure that 30 seconds shy of the end time something distracted me so it very well likely went over by ten minutes... oops! No matter, it was still very moist, very tasty and that crust was a nice and unexpected twist on banana bread.

I took one loaf into work (of course!) and I shared the other one with my family. It just so happened my mom was just getting back into town after being gone for what felt like forever so this bread helped make that day a mini-celebration. Everyone seemed to enjoy it at work as well... I know I sure did!


(Adapted from Banana Sour Cream Bread)

2 tablespoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter
1-1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 full cup chopped macadamia nuts

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine ¼ cup of sugar and 1 tsp of cinnamon.
  3. Grease two bread loaf pans and dust each with half of the cinnamon and sugar mixture.
  4. In a large bowl, cream the butter and 3 cups of sugar together. Add the eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla and mix until just combined.
  5. In a small bowl, combine cinnamon, salt, baking soda and flour together and then add to the large bowl mixture. Next fold in ½ cup of macadamia nuts.
  6. Pour batter into bread loaf pans and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.

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