I have to admit that ever since I’ve made our new favorite banana bread last fall, I’ve not been too motivated to try any new banana bread recipe. :D However, I’ve recently decided to participate in an on-going Bake-Along event that is co-organized by Zoe (of Bake for Happy Kids), and their current Bake-Along recipe just happened to be…banana bread! (I love it when I’m given a reason to bake). I’ve just recently met Zoe (through another blog) and have come to enjoy her various baking styles – check out her blog if you get a chance for constant inspiration and mouth-watering recipes.
For the current Bake-Along, we’re using a Williams-Sonoma’s recipe. I had never tried this particular recipe before and the first thing I noted was that it has consistently great reviews, which is always a good sign. Normally, the first thing I would eliminate in a baking recipe is any fragrant spices (it’s just a personal preference) but I decided to keep the nutmeg to see if and how it would affect the taste of the banana bread. I figured if I don’t like it, I know Keith will eat it anyway – that man of mine will eat anything! :D Although my goal was to retain the originality of the flavor, I couldn’t help but make a few changes. The main ones are the substitution of the granulated sugar with light brown sugar and part of the flour with whole wheat flour. From past experiences, I’ve found that I tend not to like the one-dimensional flavor that comes from using just plain white sugar – I feel that switching to light or dark brown sugar (in combination with the whole wheat flour) helps adds depth to the overall taste. Besides that, we’re also trying to eat a little bit more healthily by including more whole grain ingredients and reducing the sugar intake in our diet, which can be tricky and hard to incorporate in certain baking recipes.
Well, the bread turned out gorgeous-looking and delicious. You can’t actually taste the nutmeg but Keith and I feel that it does add to the complexity of the overall flavor. I mean we can sense there is something slightly different with this bread as compared to your average banana bread but you can’t really tell what it is – we think it’s actually the nutmeg (and I would include possibly the brown sugar and the whole wheat flour as well). Now, do we think this is better than our Chocolate-Cherry Banana Bread or our second favorite, Banana-Raisin Whole Wheat Bread? I personally can’t decide…I can say for sure that this recipe is really good as well and I would definitely bake it again as a variation from the other two (yeah, we all know that was a cop out answer). :D
Slightly adapted from Williams-Sonoma’s recipe
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1½ cups coarsely mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
2 extra-large eggs
½ cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan. In a medium bowl, stir together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and nuts. Set aside until needed. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add the bananas and eggs and beat until smooth. Add the sour cream and beat just until combined. Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and beat just until combined. The batter should be slightly lumpy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the loaf is dark golden brown and dry to the touch and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan, 55 to 60 minutes. A toothpick/skewer inserted into the center should come out clean. Let the bread rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and let cool completely. Cut into thick slices to serve.