Monday, November 9, 2009

Boozy Banana's Foster Bread

Let’s see. I am, ahem, in my early 30’s and I have been baking banana bread since I was in diapers. So, that would make the number of flops that have transpired in order to achieve this glorious loaf, way too high to count. Maybe that’s a little harsh. The other banana breads I have made were not necessarily bad, they just never popped, made me weak in the knees, gave me the stomach flip, made me want to shove aside all reason and just stuff the whole thing in my mouth. Well my darlings, this bread does all of the above and then some.

I almost signed banana bread off as a lost cause. Almost; but then a work colleague brought in banana bread that was given to him by a friend. He let me have a slice and it had a wonderful crunchy brown sugar cinnamon topping that was different from anything I had ever tasted on top of banana bread and it was fantastic. So, I researched some crunchy toppings that are usually used for pies and I came up with the concoction below. I could eat that topping alone and be a happy camper.

For the bread itself, I always thought that some sort of buttermilk or sour cream or other creamy and sour ingredient would be standard in good banana bread. I was wrong. I also have a weird obsession with putting nuts in everything and I actually held myself back from doing so with this bread. Apparently withholding the nuts and cream were both good things because the bread on its own, without the crunchy topping, was better than all of the banana breads I have ever made. I made some alterations but the basic recipe comes from a combination of the fantastic blog Simply Recipes and my most favorite blog, Smitten Kitchen, who appropriately named her adaptation, “Jacked Up Banana Bread”.

One more note, another work colleague who shall be known on this blog as “J”, came up with the “Bananas Foster Bread” name and I feel like I should give him credit for the title. So thanks to J for naming this and while we are at it, thank you for being the sounding board on this and so many other recipes.

Adapted from Simply Recipes and Smitten Kitchen

3 to 4 ripe bananas, smashed
1/3 cup melted salted butter
3/4 cup light brown sugar packed
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon dark rum
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves
1 1/2 cup of flour

Brown Sugar Topping:

5 tablespoons salted butter cold and diced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of Kosher salt
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose white flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F. With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, vanilla and rum, then the spices. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for one hour to one hour and ten minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

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