Brown Butter Banana Bread

I am not sure why most of my recipe titles are alliterations, but I promise it’s not planned, it just seems to be happening so who am I to stop it? Banana Bread is so delicious, and almost everyone I know has a recipe they love, but it’s even better when you brown the butter you use in your recipe. For this posting I am using my favourite banana bread recipe, but I think the key to the deep flavour is actually in browning the butter. You could even try this in your favourite banana bread recipe, or in cookies, brown butter is like regular butter dressed up for a night on the town. I even like to use brown butter to fry sage leaves, toss in homemade gnocchi and some parmesan cheese for a quick and tasty dinner. But that isn’t what we are doing, so I am going to make some banana bread.

Start by placing the butter into a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning, and until all the butter is melted.

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As the butter continues to cook it will start to look really foamy, don’t worry that is normal and the foam will eventually give way to nice dark golden brown butter. Keep stirring occasionally while the butter continues to cook.

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Soon the foam will disappear and the butter will look almost oil like. Continue to stir occasionally, with a heat proof spatula, and let the butter slowly change to a golden brown colour.

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You will be able to tell the butter is done when it turns to a dark gold/ amber colour. There may be some bits of brown butter pieces that you can strain out, but I usually leave them as they add a great depth to the flavour of the butter.

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Remove the butter from the heat and place into a measuring cup, or bowl, and let it cool down so it is no longer hot. This takes about 20 minutes.

Once the butter has cooled down place it in a large mixing bowl with the sugar and vanilla paste. Using an electric hand mixer, beat on medium until well combined.

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Once the sugar is fully incorporated into the butter, add in the eggs. Again using the hand mixer, beat on medium speed until well incorporated and smooth.

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Now add the buttermilk, and cinnamon. Using the hand mixer on low speed, mix until completely combined.

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Once you’ve mixed all the wet ingredients together, add the four over-ripe bananas and with the hand mixer on low, beat in the bananas. It doesn’t need to be completely smooth, in fact it shouldn’t be perfectly smooth or you’ve over combined it. It should just be mixed so that the banana is broken up and combined, but it is good to still see larger pieces of banana.

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Now in a small bowl add the flour, baking soda, and salt; whisking to combine. Once the dry ingredients are well mixed pour them into the wet ingredients. Using a silicone spatula gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet until it is fully incorporated.

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Place the banana bread batter into a prepared loaf pan that has been buttered and floured. Bake the banana bread in a 350 degree oven for 55-65 minutes. If the bread is getting dark to quickly on the top place a piece of aluminum foil tented over the top.

I usually rotate the pan half way through the baking time.

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The banana bread is fully cooked when it is a lovely golden brown, and an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let the banana bread cool about 10 – 15 minutes before removing from the pan and serving.

 

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That is it! Super simple, yet really delicious thanks to the added caramelized flavour the browned butter gives it. This banana bread is great sliced with a slathering of butter, but in our house we also think it makes for the best french toast ever. We usually eat it the first day and use the left overs the next day for a banana bread french toast breakfast.

 

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Banana Bread Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter at room temperature

1 cup sugar ( or 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup honey is nice too)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 eggs at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)

4 over-ripe bananas

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 cups ap flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

Note: If you would like to add nuts I sometimes add a 1/2 cup chopped nuts.

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, butter and flour a loaf pan then set aside.
  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the cubed 1/2 cup butter and melt, stirring occasionally with a heat proof spatula.
  • After the butter is melted completely, keep cooking and stirring occasionally, the butter will begin to get very foamy.
  • Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, after about 5 minutes the foam will give way to an oil looking gold coloured butter. At this point you want to keep a close eye on it, as the butter can go from browned to burnt very quickly.
  • After about another 5 minutes the butter should be an amber colour, and you should see some brown bits in the butter, this is the sign the butter is cooked and can be removed from the heat.
  • Place the butter into a measuring cup (sieving out the bits if you want, I leave them for the flavour) and let it cool for about 20 minutes, until it is no longer hot.
  • Once the butter has cooled, place the sugar, vanilla bean paste, and browned butter into a large mixing bowl. Using an electric hand mixer beat on medium speed until well combined and fluffy.
  • Now add the eggs and mix well on medium speed until fully combined.
  • Add in the buttermilk and ground cinnamon, using the hand mixer mix on low speed until fully combined.
  • Add in the four over-ripe bananas, if they aren’t overripe I usually mash them before I add them to the wet ingredients.
  • Once the bananas are in, using the hand mixer on low speed, mix until the bananas are broken up and evenly distributed. Don’t overmix, it shouldn’t be smooth you should still see pieces of banana.
  • In a small bowl add the flour, baking soda, and salt, then whisk to combine.
  • Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and using a silicone spatula gently fold the ingredients together. Once all the dry ingredients have been combined and the batter is smooth (other than banana pieces) it is ready.
  • Pour the banana bread batter into the prepared loaf pan and place in the preheated oven to bake.
  • The banana bread will bake for about 55 – 65 minutes, turning the pan half way through baking time.
  • If the bread gets too golden on top before the baking time is up, tent with a piece of aluminum foil.
  • Once the bread is golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean the banana bread is ready. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool 10 -15 minutes.
  • Remove the banana bread from the pan and serve with butter.

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