I’m eating a sliver right now. It’s only appropriate, ya know? Let me tell you, the crumb topping is a nice little surprise on the taste buds.
Last night, I came home from work, looked at TasteSpotting, and found this post—Banana Bread Day. I guess I missed the actual banana bread holiday. It was February 23. My bad. But I was inspired. There were 3 very ripe bananas sitting on my counter. “Perfect!” I thought to myself.
And then I remembered, my husband loovvvees to put a banana in his protein smoothie after working out, which we were planning on doing later that night. He always tells me some mumbo jumbo about how the simple sugar in the banana helps your body to absorb protein faster. Yeah, yeah. Being the good wife that I am, I knew I couldn’t use all 3 bananas in the banana bread. But I’ve never made Banana Bread without using 3 bananas.
And then I remembered seeing a recipe in my Mad Hungry cookbook that only called for 1 banana. (Yes I read my cookbooks cover to cover.)
So, I tried the 1 banana, banana bread recipe. Not only was I a good wife for saving that banana for the husband, but also for having bread in the oven when he got home from work. (Patting self on back, someone’s got to do it.)
I shouldn’t go without mentioning—the 1 banana, banana bread recipe was great! I was worried, though. Would it even taste like banana bread? 1 banana! Really?! After comparing it to several other recipes, I noticed all the proportions were less. Less flour, less sugar, less eggs, etc, overall creating less batter. This is just what the doctor ordered. I have fought with quick breads and the oven for years now. I can’t seem to figure out how to get the bread cooked through in the middle without burning the edges and drying out 80% of it. Tips welcome. However, having less batter helped it to cook through without burning the edges. Hallelujah! The loaf isn’t as tall as I’m used to, but whoever said it needed to be? I’m down with short.
1/3 c. liquid (1 part plain yogurt and 2 parts milk)
1 large egg
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 ripe banana
1 tbsp. salted butter
2 tbsp. all-purpose unbleached flour
1 tbsp. brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
Preheat oven to 300°. Lightly butter or spray loaf pan. Set aside. In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt butter. Set aside to cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Into cooled butter, whisk in yogurt, milk, egg, and extract until well combined. Add banana and mash well to incorporate.
Pour into dry ingredients and stir together until just combined. Over stirring will create a dense, tough loaf.
Make the crumb topping. In a small bowl, soften butter in microwave. Add remaining ingredients. Using a fork, mash together butter, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Distribute crumble evenly over batter. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool in pan completely. Removing too early usually results in a broken loaf. Carefully loosen from pan and invert. Serve.
Now, I am a firm believer in letting your baked goods rest after they come out of the oven. Time after time, I eat treats right out of the oven and think “FAIL.” I usually come close to burying them in the trash. Thankfully, I deny the impulse and wait until morning. Low and behold, it’s wonderful. The flavors have settled in and the moistness has been restored. Rule of thumb: Exercise patience, and let your baked goods rest. Heck, I’m better well rested.