Banana-Nut Bread

Just came out of the oven - isn't it beautiful?
Just came out of the oven – isn’t it beautiful?

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.

A lot of banana bread recipes call for using very ripe bananas (as in heavily speckled or even black bananas) to get a really strong banana flavor. However, I personally prefer a less overiped banana taste (I don't purposely mean to be contrary). Therefore, I like to use bananas that have just started to speckle - they are ripe, soft enough to mash easily but they do not yet have that overiped, super-sweet smell.
A lot of banana bread recipes call for using very ripe bananas (as in heavily speckled or even black bananas) to get a really strong banana flavor. However, I personally prefer a less overiped banana taste (I don’t purposely mean to be contrary). Therefore, I like to use bananas that have just started to speckle – they are ripe, soft enough to mash easily but they do not yet have that overiped, super-sweet smell.

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.

Alex (although he was not feeling well) wanted to help me bake - here he was, grating the nutmeg. :D
Alex (although he was not feeling well) wanted to help me bake – here he was, grating the nutmeg. :D
Alex loves to measure dry ingredients, so I delegated those tasks to him.
Alex loves to measure dry ingredients, so I delegated those tasks to him.
Ready to go in the oven
Ready to go in the oven

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

The bread was a beautiful golden brown but the edges were on the drier side
The bread was a beautiful golden brown but the edges were on the drier side
The inside was moist and tender - the bread was delicious!
The inside was moist and tender – the bread was delicious!

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.

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17 Replies to “Banana-Nut Bread”

  1. Hi Chris,
    Nice to meet a Malaysian girl across the continents!
    Your cake looks lovely, I’m glad that your family enjoyed it. Your little helper seems to be enjoying his duties, great job! Thank you for baking along with us. Do join us again!
    Have a great week!

    1. Hello Joyce,

      Nice to meet you! :D Thank you for your kind words. I thoroughly enjoyed myself baking for this event and definitely plan to join you guys again. You have a great week too!

  2. Hi Chris,
    I was brought over here from the Bake Along ~ your banana nut bread looks really yummy! Alex is a great helper and I believe in no time he will be a great baker or a cook too!

    1. Hi Mel,

      Nice to meet you! :D Thank you for dropping by and for the lovely compliment. Alex is indeed a great helper, and loves to bake…if only he’ll inherit my love to eat as well, lol. Hope to see you again.

  3. hi chris, nice to know you. I also find that there’s something different about its taste compared to normal banana cakes, i only put in half the nutmeg amt required but i do think it could be the nutmeg. I find that the taste of this bread is delicious even tho i wished that it could be a little more fluffier. I’m glad that you like the cake and alex had enjoyed himself in the process of making. Thanks for baking along with us and yea, hope to see you again!

    1. Hello Lena,

      Nice to meet you too. :D Thanks so much for stopping by. I definitely hope to bake more with all of you. :D

  4. Nice meeting you Chris…. Yours version looking awesome too. Will post mine pretty soon.

    1. Hi Angeline,

      Nice to meet you too! :D I hope to see your banana bread soon…I’m sure it’ll turn out great. :D Thanks for stopping by.

      1. Hi Chris, returning your site again. Just posted mine…Please drop me some valuable comments. Thanks.

  5. Hi Chris,

    Nice to have you baking along. We always know lots of friends via bake-along and happy that you can join in the fun. Seeing your above comments, I can tell that my two baking buddies, Joyce and Lena have introduced themselves to you… We have been baking along for nearly 2 years and enjoy our friendship a lot via baking :D

    I must say reading what you wrote about me really make me blush :p Thanks for all your compliments.

    You are right that this banana bread is quite different from some. I personally like the Hummingbird bakery one and think the Martha Stewart is a lot more buttery than this one… I can see too that you have having lots of fun comparing different banana bread recipes too :D

    Before going… I just want to say that Alex is such a brilliant little helper. Great job, Alex! And also, lucky mummy Chris!

    Zoe

    1. Zoe,

      You’re welcome. I really enjoy your blog and it is my pleasure to share it with others. I totally appreciate how welcoming all of you have been and I look forward to joining you guys in the future Bake-Along. And thank you so much for your kind words…I am indeed lucky to have Alex. :D

  6. Charmaine Yong says: Reply

    Hi Chris, yr lil helper is doing a great job… bt i wldnt handle tasks to my 3 helpers…lol..
    Your banana bread is looking great… i hv yet to bake mine… shld do soon by buying my nanas 1st:))

    1. Hi Charmaine,

      Thank you for your kind words. Hope you’ll get to bake this soon…it is delicious! See you again.

      Chris

  7. Hi Chris,
    I am always certain that your cakes always turn out gorgeous! I’ll make this cake when our walnut tree starts bearing, but I think I can’t wait until autumn :-D

    1. Thanks for the compliment, Isadora. :D You’re such a sweetheart. Did you manage to get a lot of walnuts the previous season?

  8. There were not a lot of walnuts last autumn, because I heard that the walnuts are bountiful every other year, so fingers crossed for this autumn (fall);

    1. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you too. :D Nuts are so expensive nowadays, at least over here.

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