Monday, March 5, 2012

Banana Bread Beauty


Banana bread is one of those comfort foods that all people seem to love. And I find that most families have their own secret recipe to which they will stay quiet loyal. But honestly...there is little difference between most. Maybe you add chocolate chips or walnuts or even peanut butter, but the key is very ripe bananas to create a moist and delicious loaf that will make your home smell like heaven when baking.

But I recently tried the Ultimate Banana Bread recipe from my Cook's Illustrated cookbook and learned a couple new tricks that add flavor and a little beauty to the basic banana bread.

First, their recipe upped the banana count by two from my normal recipes to a total of 5. You microwave the peeled bananas for 5 minutes, and then place the bananas in a strainer over a bowl for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Afterwards, you take the reserved juices and cook over medium heat until reduced to a banana syrup. Then proceed by adding the bananas and syrup to your normal recipe. This trick really deepens the banana flavor.

But my favorite trick to their recipe is shingling banana slices atop the bread (like above). You take one extra banana and slice it on a diagonal. Place along the long edges of the bread and then sprinkle with 2 tsp of sugar. When it bakes off, you have a caramelized banana topping that adds a bit of beauty to the humble loaf.

Then all that is left is to slice off a portion of two and grab a big glass of milk. Enjoy!

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