Like everyone else in the D.C. metropolitan area, Tom and I stocked up on bottled water and food last month in anticipation of Hurricane Irene. Fortunately, we emerged from Irene unscathed, suffering no property damage and never losing power; many others in the area were not so lucky. Our pre-hurricane grocery purchases included a bunch of bananas that looked fine at the supermarket, but after we brought them home, they proceeded to turn an sickly shade of brown while simultaneously maintaining a cast of green underripeness. The bananas looked so unappetizing that it was a easy decision to bake them into bread instead of eating them.
I decided to try the recipe for "Flour's Famous Banana Bread" from Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe by Joanne Chang. I have a basic banana bread recipe that I'm pretty happy with, but I'm always willing to expand my baking horizons and give a new recipe a try. Unlike my standard recipe, which simply involves mixing the ingredients together in a bowl, Chang's recipe requires a stand mixer fitted with the whipping attachment. You whip together sugar and eggs for 5 minutes until they are light and fluffy, and then slowly drizzle in canola oil, being careful not to deflate the volume of the sugar-egg mixture. Then you add in mashed bananas, creme fraiche (or sour cream), vanilla, the sifted dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt), and walnuts.
Recipe: "Flour's Famous Banana Bread" from Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston's Flour Bakery + Cafe, by Joanne Chang. The version available here at the Food Network website is almost identical to the version in the cookbook; the cookbook version calls for 1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour, 3/4 cup (75 grams ) toasted and chopped walnuts, and instructs you to bake the bread at 325 degrees for 60-75 minutes.
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