America’s Test Kitchen Banana Bread

I saw this on Tastespotting.  They got it from a book that claims this to be the best banana bread recipe out there.

Obviously, I had to try it.

It ended up being normal banana bread.

There is nothing wrong with it at all– it’s perfectly moist, chewy (but still tender), a tad sweet and could please even the most selective palates.  With that said, baking “normal” things is not really part of my routine; I would have much preferred to throw a handful of cranberries into the batter and drizzle the top with an earl grey icing or almond streusel.

But a learning student must always start with the basics, right?  Right.   So for now, here is a great recipe for those who prefer to play things on the safe side … but for everyone else, I promise the next recipe will have a little more pizzazz.

America’s Test Kitchen Banana Bread
Makes 1 9×5 loaf

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon table salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1½ cups)
¼ cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1¼ cup walnuts, toasted and chopped coarse (optional, I excluded these)

Adjust a rack to the lower-middle position of the oven and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan; set aside.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl; set aside.

Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla together with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Fold in the walnuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the surface with the spatula.

Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe from The Complete America’s Test Kitchen TV Show Cookbook


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