The Tasting Table,, recently posted a banana bread recipe by Dominique Ansel.  He’s an amazing pastry chef, who happened to invent the cronut.  I used this recipe as a base for some banana bread I made today and added my own touches.

Makes 2 loaves

You’ll need:

2 cups sugar
2 cups all purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered vanilla or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans
3 eggs, beaten
4 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
2 sticks of unsalted butter

Preheat your oven to 350.

Mix sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, vanilla powder, nutmeg and cinnamon. Toss in the pecans and toss to coast. If you are using a vanilla extract, add to bananas. Do not add to dry ingredients.

Melt and brown the butter. You will need to watch it carefully once it is melted. It will go through stages- from being just plain old melted to foamy to really foamy to perfectly browned. However, if you don’t take it off the heat when it is browned, it will go from a lovely browned to burned very quickly. Swirling the pan will help you keep an eye on the butter through the foam, just be careful! Allow to cool slightly. Remove 2 tablespoons from the pan- you will use this to butter your loaf pans for baking. Reserve the remaining 14 tablespoons.

In a bowl separate from the dry ingredients, mix the mashed bananas with the eggs. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Gently combine until batter is just mixed. Add the cooled butter and, again, gently mix until everything is just combined. I always like to let batter sit for about 30 minutes to allow the flour to be absorbed into the liquid ingredients. While batter is resting, butter 2 loaf pans with some of your melted butter.

Divide batter evenly into both pans.

Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool at least 30 minutes before enjoying.

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