Brown Butter Banana-Strawberry Bread

Brown butter. If you don’t know, you need to find out.

A) Yesterday I (mostly) ran 4.4 miles, outside, by the Hudson. After a few weeks of running across the George Washington Bridge, I can tell you the road/blacktop on the Greenway is much easier on my joints (did I just say that?) than the metal bridge. I like it.
B) I’ve realized that you should never decide that you don’t like a fruit or vegetable until you’ve had an organic specimen, or at the very least one that’s at the peak of ripeness.  This fact has helped me discover a true love of tomatoes and several other fruits. Today’s strawberries may not have been organic, but all I know is that I really thought I hated those berries until I got these yesterday.
C) There are 16 Tablespoons in 1 cup, 8 Ts in 1/2 cup, and 4 Ts in 1/4 cup. Good to know. Especially when you’ve misplaced your 1/4 cup.
D) Brown butter smells soooooooooooo good! I see more (but not too much!) of it in my future.
About this recipe:

I love the tanginess the strawberries add to this version of banana bread, and I’m really digging the almost cake-like moistness. Knowing that I’d gladly consume all of this in one day, I did the right thing and sliced up the loaf, wrapped it in plastic and aluminum foil. This tastiness is freezer bound to be rediscovered as a surprise snack in a few weeks when I feel I’ve earned it.

I think next time I might cut down on the fat and sub in some apple sauce to compensate for the lost moisture I’d expect as a result, though even then, I think this could have been a bit sturdier and still been great. 

Brown Butter Banana Strawberry Bread
Adapted from Joy the Baker 
1.5 sticks/6oz/12 Tablespoons of butter, which will be melted and browned to about 1/2 cup
1 1/4 cup mashed banana (I used 3 medium bananas)
1/2 cup diced strawberries plus 1 very thinly sliced strawberry for topping (I think I went with more like a cup of strawberries)
Dry Ingredients:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
The original recipe calls for 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon salt, but told me I could sub in 2 teaspoons baking powder and omit the salt, so I did that (I had no baking soday)
Wet Ingredients:
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt or buttermilk (I used yogurt)
1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and grease and flour a 9X5-inch loaf pan and set aside for later. (Since I’m using a glass pan, I reduced the temp to 325F)
2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. The butter will foam and sputter at increasing rates as it melts, though this will slowly subside and evenually your butter will be browning. If you see some brown specks, don’t worry! This is exactly what you want. Once you’ve got a lot of those lil specks, and you begin to smell a delectably  nutty scent, remove from heat and place in a bowl so that it can cool (I put mine in the fridge to help the process — don’t worry, it’s not gonna solidify like melted butter would).
3. Since I knew I’d be making this since yesterday, I premixed the dry ingredients in a large bowl. If you lacked this foresight, do so now. 
4. In a medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients. 
5. Whisk in mashed bananas as well.
6. Once the butter has cooled, mix those into your wet ingredients too.
7. Add all your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients, folding together using a spatula until just combined (i.e. don’t overstir). 
8. Fold in the diced strawberries.
9. Pour your batter into the prepared pan, and top with the thinly sliced strawberry. 
10. Bake for about 50 minutes to an hour, until a toothpick/ knife comes out clean. (Now, you gotta be careful whenever you bake in an oven you’re not used to — even at a lower temperature, I only baked mine for about 30 minutes before it was time to let it out, so trust your nose! If it smells amazing, you’re probably almost done baking

11. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes before turning out.

This entry was published on June 19, 2011 at 6:52 pm. It’s filed under bread, breakfast, dessert and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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