I have been cooking up a storm and am excited to share the new recipes with you. This weekend I made Banana Nut Bread. Three bananas were starting to ripen and calling out to be made. I looked at my cookbooks and saw Pastries from La Brea Bakery. The recipe was from created by one of my favorite chefs, Nancy Silverton. The creator of La Brea Bakery but most importantly part owner of two fabulous restaurants here in LA, Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza. They are two of the hottest restaurants in LA and I can assure you they are worth the wait to get in.
This bread is stocked with spices and nuts. The poppy seed gives it a bit of a crunch in every bite. I am having a bit of an issue with my oven browning things to quickly. This bread, on the bottom rack, got quite brown before the inside was firm so keep an eye on it while cooking. It is very tasty and was moist, even with the browned edges.
Banana Nut Bread
Adapted from Nancy Silverton’s “Pastries from La Brea Bakery”
2/3 cup walnuts
2/3 cup pecans
3-4 bananas, very ripe, mashed to equal 1 1/4 cups
2 extra-large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 ounces unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (scant)
1 tablespoon poppy seed
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus
1 teaspoon sugar, extra for sprinkling
6 tablespoons light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
Lightly coat a six cup capacity loaf pan, with melted butter. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Spread the nuts in a baking sheet and toast in the oven until lighly browned, about 8-10 minute. Shake the pan halfway through to ensure that the nuts toast evenly. Cool, chop coarsely, and set aside.
Turn the oven up to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk the banana puree, eggs, and vanilla extract to combine.
In the bowl, of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle, attachment, cream the butter, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and poppy seeds on low, 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Add the sugars and turn the mixer up to medium, mixing another 3 to 4 minutes until fluffy, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Add the flour and banana mixture alternately in three batches, beginning with the flour, mixing until just combined. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the nuts.
Pour the batter into prepared loaf pan to just below the rim.
Bake for 50-60 minutes until nicely browned and firm to the touch.