Banana Bread with Pecans
Banana Bread with Pecans was originally posted October 1, 2011, shortly after Desserts Required launched…way before videos and when photos were pretty pathetic. I chose to add new pictures and a video so you can now see how easy this is to make.
In my house, I buy the fruits that family members want and then they have a tendency to sit way past their prime (both the fruits and the family). This is very frustrating to me because it ticks me off to throw away food that has been requested.
Bananas are a perfect example of such a fruit. I find it challenging at the grocery store to buy the exact ripeness that will allow the bananas to sit at home on the counter for a few days, allowing everyone time to eat them. If they are too green, they are forgotten by the time they are actually ready to eat, too yellow and we only get one or two days out of them.
Most of the time, regardless of how they came into the house, we ended up with brown bananas that got wasted. I am not sure what it says about me, but it took me awhile to actually figure out the perfect solution, Banana Bread.
Once I realized that these brown, almost black, bananas were actually treasures to create something wonderful with, it no longer annoyed me to buy bananas. The only thing I had to figure out was what recipe to use.
My mother told me about a Tyler Florence episode she saw on Food Network where he made Banana Bread that looked amazing. I got the recipe and it turned out, Mamma knew best.
It amazed me how the bananas, which by that point were too disgustingly sweet to eat, were the perfect balance in a bread. The trick to mashing the bananas is using a fork and just barely touching the bananas so you still have some chunks in it. Remember, the bananas you want to use for this recipe are the ones that are practically falling apart when you lift them off the counter. If you use too heavy of a hand, you will have pureed bananas in no time.
It took a couple of times baking this recipe to realize just how brown (aka, burnt) the edges can get if they are not watched carefully. The Banana Bread with Pecans has to be baked in the middle of the oven or the bottom gets too dark, yet in the middle, the top was getting too dark. This drove me mad pretty quickly. The solution was simple enough, bake in the middle of the oven and tent the bread with foil before it gets too dark.
The only thing lacking, in my nut-crazy opinion, were more pecans. Easy enough to fix by topping the bread with additional pecans before it goes into the oven.
What is ironic is that my family had no problem wasting the bananas sitting on the countertop, yet once those bananas got turned into banana bread, they disappeared very quickly. Each one of us has our own favorite pieces, and they can change without notice. Some like the end pieces, others the top (not so much fun for the person who gets the leftover slice horizontally cut rather than vertically) and every so often, I come in and find the middle scooped out with the edges left behind.
Personally, I don’t really care as long as the bananas get eaten!
|Banana Bread with Pecans|| || |
- 4 overripe bananas, divided
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup plus ¼ cup pecans, finely chopped
- Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter and flour a 9” x 5” loaf pan. Set aside.
- Use a fork to gently mash two bananas in a small bowl so the consistency has little chunks of banana in it. Set aside.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Set aside.
- Using the wire whisk of an electric mixer, whip the remaining two bananas and sugar together for 3 minutes. Add melted butter, eggs and vanilla and beat well.
- Mix in the dry ingredients on low speed, just until incorporated, scraping the bowl down as needed.
- Fold in ½ cup of the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and cover with the remaining ¼ cup of nuts.
- Bake at 350º in the middle of the oven until cake tester comes out clean, about 1 hour. Rotate pan halfway through for even baking. Cover with foil if the top is getting too dark (usually around 40 minutes).
- Cool in pan for 10 minutes and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Betsy’s Tidbits:
- The bread is delicious as is, toasted or toasted with butter. It also freezes beautifully.