Best Banana Bread Recipe Cook's Illustrated
Banana Bread

Best Banana Bread Recipe Cook's Illustrated

  • November 24, 2021

We discovered that doubling the dose of bananas in our favorite test recipe was both a blessing and a curse.The abundance of fruit made for intense banana flavor, but the weight and moisture sank the loaf and gave it a cakelike structure.We wanted to add banana flavor without excess moisture for a truly exceptional loaf.This recipe can be made using five thawed frozen bananas; since they release a lot of liquid naturally, they can bypass the microwaving in step 2 and go directly into the fine-mesh strainer.The texture is best when the loaf is eaten fresh, but it can be stored (let cool completely first), covered tightly with plastic wrap, for up to three days. .

Banana Bread by Cook's illustrated Recipe

Banana Bread by Cook's illustrated Recipe

Banana Bread by Cook's illustrated Recipe

Carefully tip the pan over so the loaf releases onto the wire rack and slice and serve the banana bread warm or let it cool completely, if you can stand the wait, and then deour. .

Go-To Banana Muffins

Go-To Banana Muffins

Go-To Banana Muffins

Maybe using four bananas would boost the flavor without weighing down the crumb?Sure enough, bread-flour muffins baked up with a loftier, more uniform crumb (no squidgy layer).My banana bread recipe called for only a small amount of baking soda to react with the acidic ingredients in the mix, but stirring in baking powder, which is activated by heat and moisture, produced an even coarser, more open crumb. .

Cooks Illustrated Banana Bread

Cooks Illustrated Banana Bread

Cooks Illustrated Banana Bread

Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes.Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. .

cooks illustrated's ultimate banana bread

cooks illustrated's ultimate banana bread

cooks illustrated's ultimate banana bread

It manages to fit so many bananas into one loaf because the liquid is extracted before the batter is mixed.With zucchini, it’s obvious because water droplets immediately appear on a newly cut surface, but bananas had always seemed relatively dry to me.And if you don’t constantly have a bag of bananas taking up space in your freezer, of course you don’t need previously frozen bananas for this recipe – a quick trip to the microwave achieves the same effect.The end result is a banana bread that’s moist and tender, even if I go ahead and utilize my favorite quick bread tricks of subbing half whole wheat pastry flour and reducing the fat by 25% by replacing some of the butter with oil.The oil helps keeps the loaf moist, and of course leaving all that butter in contributes flavor.8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly.Microwave on high power until the bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes.Transfer the bananas to a fine-mesh strainer placed over a medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes (you should have ½ to ¾ cups liquid).Transfer the liquid to a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until it’s reduced to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes.Remove the pan from the heat, stir the reduced liquid into the bananas, and mash with a potato masher until fairly smooth.Shingle the banana slices on top of both sides of the loaf, leaving a 1½-inch-wide space down the center to ensure an even rise. .

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