Stuck with overripe bananas? Add a warm and nutty twist to a quickbread classic with a tried-and-tested recipe for Brown Butter Banana Bread.
If you’re wondering, “Do I really need another banana bread recipe?” (especially when they’re more than a dozen available at the click of a button!), the answer is always going to be a resounding YES.
Just when I thought I couldn’t improve upon the cream cheese-marbled, chocolate chunk-studded and Greek yogurt-filled favorites, here comes a subtle twist that delivers anything but subtle flavor results. Welcome to the overripe banana lineup, Brown Butter Banana Bread!
What Does Brown Butter Do In Baking?
Simply put, brown butter lends an insanely delicious nutty, toasty flavor to any and all desserts (and even savory things like eggs, popcorn, pasta and grilled cheese). If you want to add that special something, that unknowably tasty added depth to your usual recipes, brown butter is about to be your BFF.
While it might seem like you can swap brown butter it into any baked good in lieu of butter, be warned: Your resulting recipe will be a bit drier than you anticipated. This is because when you brown your butter, the water in the butter evaporates. But don’t worry, adding water back into your recipe along with the brown butter will fix this right up. This recipe has all of those adjustments perfected, so you’re well on your way to an incredibly moist loaf of banana bread.
What Can I Use if I Don’t Have Sour Cream?
Plain yogurt (either regular or Greek-style) is a fantastic substitute for sour cream when baking banana bread. Both yogurt and sour cream are acidic, which is crucial to activating the baking soda and to achieving a moist crumb and superior texture.
Another great swap? Buttermilk. That being said, buttermilk is a liquid, so you won’t want to add the same amount of buttermilk when swapping for sour cream. In this recipe, ¼ cup buttermilk will be all you need.
How to Ripen Bananas Quickly
Just how quickly you need ripe bananas will determine which technique to choose. Got a bit of time and a paper bag? Pop the bananas inside and close the bag. Bananas and other fruits produce a gas called ethylene as they ripen, which will in turn help to ripen any other underripe fruits. It’ll take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours for the bananas to ripen to your preferred sweetness.
Need quicker results? Preheat your oven to 350°F and place the underripe bananas on a baking sheet. Pop them in the oven, and just 15 minutes later you’ll be scooping out sweetened banana puree perfect for whisking into banana bread batter.
- Cooking Spray
- 5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 very ripe bananas (See Kelly’s Note)
- 1/3 cup sour cream or yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper then grease the paper with cooking spray.
- Add the butter to a medium skillet set over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the butter begins to foam and become golden, 5 to 7 minutes. (It will smell nutty and the milk solids will begin to darken.) Immediately transfer the brown butter to a medium bowl and set it aside to cool. (If you leave the butter in the hot pan it will burn.)
- In a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.
- Add three of the ripe bananas to the bowl with the brown butter and mash well. Whisk in the sour cream, eggs and vanilla extract.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix just until combined. Transfer the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake the bread until a toothpick inserted comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool completely in the pan before slicing and serving.
- As an optional topping, slice an additional banana in half lengthwise and arrange the halves atop the unbaked bread. Bake as directed.
- If your banana bread tends to get too dark on top before the center is fully baked, tent it with foil at the 40-minute mark in the oven and continue baking as directed.
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