Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Recipe Wednesday: Bananapple Hazelnut Bread

Ron's been off this week before he starts a new job and I must say, I'm really digging it. For example, we went treasure hunting earlier today, I baked some banana bread this afternoon, and we're painting the nursery a vivid shade of "Gold Rush" tonight. You could say we're golden up in here.

Gold Rush!

I know banana bread isn't groundbreaking. Who hasn't thrown a few overripe bananas into a loaf pan with some flour and butter? But damn if it isn't oh-so-tasty AND versatile. For example, I found this recipe online, then modified it a bit with what we had on hand ... namely applesauce and hazelnuts. The beautiful thing about quick breads is that as long as you keep your binder (in this case, eggs) in and your moist to dry ingredient ratio on the level, like a mad scientist, you can pretty much throw anything combo of fruits, veggies, juices, spices or tasty chunks into them. So here's my latest creation, which turned out spongy and rich. You could say IT'S ALIVE with flavor. Badump.


1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups pureed ripe bananas
1/2 cup applesauce (I used cinnamon for a little extra somethin')
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup hazelnuts

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes or until fragrant. Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until thoroughly blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the bananas, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour by hand until barely combined.

Take the now cool hazelnuts and coarsely chop them (I like to put them in a sealed plastic bag and hit them with a rolling pin, but a food processor or a nicely sharp knife, though not as cathartic, will also work). Gently fold the chopped nuts into the batter.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake on the oven's middle shelf until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean, 60 to 65 minutes.

Remove from oven, and let the loaf rest for 10 minutes before turning out from the pan. Devour. Makes one loaf

I'll be back tomorrow with nursery wall pics. Until then, stay golden. ;)

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