Sunday, June 12, 2011

brown butter strawberry banana bread

What do baking brown butter strawberry banana bread and eastern Canada summer thunderstorms have in common? Only one thing: they both make my apartment very, very hot. It's even worse when you decide to bake brown butter strawberry banana bread during an eastern Canada summer thunderstorm. You might be questioning my sanity at the moment and I wouldn't blame you one bit. By the end of it all, my apartment was a sauna and my hair was sticking to my face, but I had some luxurious golden buttery banana bread to enjoy and a front row seat to some epic fork lightning - something we Vancouverites don't really get to experience.

This recipe comes from the lovely and amazing Joy the Baker. I have never made banana bread quite like this before. I'm not joking when I say it is luxury banana bread. The velvety texture is unlike anything I've ever produced at home. One thing to watch though: because there is so much butter in this recipe, don't rely 100 percent on it being done when the tester comes out clean. That's what I did, and I took it out about ten minutes too soon. Gently press the top as well, you'll know it's done if it springs back.

brown butter strawberry banana bread
Adapted from Joy the Baker.

1/2 cup butter
1 1/4 cup mashed banana (approximately 3 medium bananas)
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup diced strawberries (I would increase this a bit next time)
1 or 2 strawberries, sliced very thinly for the top

Preheat your oven to 350ºF and line a loaf pan with tinfoil.

First you want to brown your butter. In a small pot, melt your butter over medium heat, stirring regularly. You will notice it beginning to foam - this is okay. Just keep on going, still stirring, until the foam begins to subside and the butter turns brown and takes on a caramely, nutty aroma. The milk solids will also turn brown and drop to the bottom of the pot. Pour your brown butter into a small bowl to keep it from burning. Allow to cool a bit.

Mash your bananas in a medium bowl, then add sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla and yogurt. Mix well.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.

Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, and stir until until just incorporated. Fold in the diced strawberries.

Pour batter into pan and top with sliced strawberries. Lick all spoons and spatulas. Bake for 50 minutes to an hour, or until loaf springs back when pressed down lightly.

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