I made a recipe for TWO LOAVES and used TWICE as many bananas as I usually do. I produced TWICE as much banana flavour.
How is this made possible without making the crumb gummy? I used the old CI trick of microwaving frozen bananas, straining the liquid into a saucepan, reducing the banana liquid and adding it back to the batter in concentrated form. Since making two loaves of the same size is just boring, I made one loaf, a whole bunch of mini loaves using my silicone financier mould and a medium-sized loaf too. I used up some frozen bananas and about 3 fresh bananas that were just crying to be smashed up into bread. In total, I was able to fit about 14 bananas into the recipe. [NB: the size of your bananas does matter. Mine were medium to small] Through the concentration procedure, this enabled me to make up the usual amount of banana puree of 3 cups.
The mini loaves were my favourite. They’re the perfect size for snacks and I plop two in a baggie for my daughter’s recess snack. The financier-sized mini loaves took 20 minutes to bake in their silicone moulds.
Fresh out of the oven, the banana flavour was intense and the crumb was tender and unctuous. Very moist but not gummy. That’s a good thing.
The larger loaf takes from 60-70 minutes in the oven and it tasted just as good but just wasn’t as cute.
- 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 t baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2sticks unsalted butter, softened [that is equivalent to 3/4 cup]
- 1 1/2 cups packed dark brown (muscovado) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 10-14 frozen bananas (microwaved to release their liquid) [do this 1-minute at a time; but you don’t want to heat up the bananas to cook them—just release liquid] You will need about 3 to 3 1/2 cups banana puree including the reduced liquid. Banana size matters. I had small to medium bananas. Adjust # of bananas to yield 3 to 3 1/2 cups puree.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Grease two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. [I used one regular-sized loaf pan, one silicone financier mould and one half-loaf-sized mould].
- Prepare the bananas by microwaving them in a large pyrex container. Nuke it at one minute intervals, checking it to ensure that you are not cooking the bananas; just releasing liquid. Using a strainer/sieve over a small pot, drain the banana liquid into the saucepan. Heat the liquid over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by about a half.
- In a medium bowl combine flour, soda and salt with a wire whisk; set aside.
- In a large bowl cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Add eggs, concentrated banana liquid, bananas, and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down sides of bowl.
- Add the flour mixture and then blend at low speed just until combined. Do not over-mix.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake on center rack of oven for 60 to 70 minutes. [Adjust timing for different sized pans. My financier moulds took 20 minutes and my half-loaf took 45 minutes.] A toothpick inserted in center should come out clean, and the bread should pull away from the sides.
- Cool in pan, for 10 minutes. Turn pans on sides; cool to room temperature before removing and slicing.