Monday, September 23, 2013

Finding The Ultimate Banana Bread

If only I was so diligent at everything else.

So I continued to study the endless recipes for banana bread found online in hopes to find the ultimate banana bread. I started to read in multiple articles that trying to bake a banana bread packed with an intense banana flavour is not just as easy as adding more bananas. The more bananas you add, the more intense flavour, yet also the more liquid. Increasing the liquid content will make the banana bread chewy, or even soggy, and not the cakey consistency that I was looking for. I mean, it all depends on what you prefer. Some actually want the chewiness. But for me, I prefer it like a dense cake. And so I found a new set of tips that help pack in more bananas but also not sacrifice the consistency of the banana bread.

The extra step : Microwave your bananas for four minutes, letting all its juices to come out of its pulp. I used four bananas because that was all I had (when most recipes using this step requires five). Pour it through a sieve to separate the liquid. Mine yielded about 3/4 cup of liquid, and then about a cup of pulp.  

Heat the liquid portion in a saucepan over medium heat until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup. Takes about five minutes. This will save all the banana essence but taking away some of the liquid. Then, add the liquid back into the banana pulp and use it as the banana portion to any banana bread recipe. 

I used the same recipe from last time but with some minor changes. 

2 beaten eggs
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup apple sauce
1 cup mashed bananas (4 bananas)
1 3/4 cups whole wheat AP flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

- I ran out of flour after the last banana bread, and when I went to pick up a refill of it, I decided to get whole wheat as a healthier alternative
- I read that using all brown sugar can overpower the banana flavour, so for a cleaner taste, stick with white sugar. However, I personally think brown sugar might make it a richer flavour, so hence the split of 1/2 white and 1/4 brown.
- Last time, I subbed a recipe's requirement for oil with apple sauce. This time, I split it half oil and half apple sauce just to see if a little bit of oil can add to the moisture of the banana bread. 

See previous post for instructions. (Only difference was instead of sprinkling the walnuts on top, I mixed it in with the batter).

I personally think this banana bread turned out much closer to what I'm looking for in a banana bread recipe. It had good banana flavour (although could be even more intense). It was a great dense-cake-like consistency. I enjoyed the whole wheat part of it. 

Changes I'd make for next time : 

- Try reducing five bananas instead of four. 
- Try plain AP flour instead of whole wheat to see if the banana flavour may be more intense/clean.

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