BANGIN' BANANA BREAD
There are two types of banana bread: the light, airy, drier kind (not this) and the heavier, moist, more flavorful kind. Both kinds are wonderful, but this one is a beautiful example of the latter. This full-bodied banana bread is perfectly sweet and banana-ie, and is as good toasted on day three as it is fresh out of the oven on day one.
Total time: 90 minutes
Active time: 30 minutes
Bake time: 60 minutes
Makes 1 loaf
1+3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 large, very ripe bananas (they should be very soft and covered in brown spots)
8 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, plus 1/4 cup for the top
2 tbsp coarse/raw sugar
1.) Preheat a standard oven to 350° F with a rack in the center. Grease a standard loaf pan with vegetable oil or non stick spray. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt until combined.
2.) In a medium bowl, mash bananas with a fork until no large chunks remain. Add melted and cooled butter, eggs, dark brown and white sugars, vanilla, and sour cream. Whisk together until well incorporated.
3.) Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and use a spatula to fold together. Some lumps are okay; these will cook out. When a few dry streaks remain, add 1/2 cup of the chopped walnuts to the bowl. Fold in until no dry streaks remain.
4.) Pour the batter into your prepared pan until it is about two-thirds full. For most pans, this will be all the batter, but some smaller pans may not be able to hold it all, and we don't want spillover!
5.) Liberally sprinkle the top of the batter with coarse sugar, or granulated sugar if it's all you have. This will form a sweet, crusty layer on the top of the bread. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts down the center of the batter.
6.) Bake for about about 60-70 minutes, checking every 5 minutes beginning at 55 minutes. When the bread is done, a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean or with a few crumbs, but no wet batter.
7.) Loosen the edges from the sides of the pan with a spatula, and then let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. Slice and eat with cream cheese, butter, or by its wonderful self. Store at room temperature covered in tin foil.