Happiest springtime to you all! I hope your season is filling with fresh flowers, warm cups of coffee and tea, carb-laden goodies and perhaps some spring cleaning/organizing to freshen perspectives and intentions. I have been taking things easy, using this past mercury retrograde to reflect. Let me tell ya: sometimes it is enlightening to just take it slow and think through some things/decisions/adult-ing things to gain clarity and perspective. You're most definitely on the right track, and don't let anyone let you think otherwise. Spring cleaning and organizing also helps with all of this. Focus!And then after you've cleaned out your closet/mind/car (or whatever), treat yourself to some banana bread + coffee. As a compulsive banana-buyer and eater and smoothie-maker, the probability of my having over-ripe bananas is quite high. Thus, you will find several other banana bread and/or muffin recipes on TDS (The Dirty Sifter...):
The gluten-free, but no weird-ass flours version here!
The borderline cake, super idulgent version over here (really, don't skip the bourbon or sea salt or the chocolate...go all in on this one)...
The touch-of-special browned butter version right here!
The vegan version here...it is a good one despite the lack of butter and eggs, really! It boasts 6 (!!) whole bananas. Compensate the healthy goodness with the generouts cinnamon+sugar topping.
So now...I introduce, the caffeinated and roasty-toasty, nutty one here today. Mostly inspired by my grandma's banana bread, and also my deep love for strong-ass coffee, and also the smell of browning butter. All good things indeed. If you do not have access to an espresso maker at home (I have a ROK variety, and while finicky to get the water temp/coffee grind correct, once you do, you're golden!), you can use extra-strong brewed coffee. This bread is sweet, moist and perfect on a chilly early spring morning. Spread the love and share thick slices with your favorite people. The honey in this loaf helps keep the moisture in (thanks to the abundance of monosaccharides, namely glucose and fructose), and also helps it brown in the oven (nod again to the honey). The espresso (or strong coffee) gives it a hint of bitter, and nutty aroma. The brown butter just does what it does best...mmm...
With that, happy baking, sharing and caring. Spread the love!
Banana Bread with Browned Butter and Espresso // makes 1 loaf //
- 1 3/4 cup flour (I used 1 cup all purpose and 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon, plus additional for topping
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 3 large over-ripe bananas
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup honey (or maple syrup, or a combination thereof)
- 1/3 cup browned butter
- 1 double shot espresso + water or milk to make 1/4 cup total liquid (or use 1/4 cup strong brewed coffee, cooled)
- optional: 2 large handfuls walnuts
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Brown the butter in a small pan, keeping an eye on it while it bubbles. Set aside to cool, and use a few teaspoons to grease the loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking soda, sea salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. In a measuring cup, measure out the espresso+water (or coffee). Add the honey, browned butter and eggs. Whisk until thoroughly combined.
4. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas until smooth (or leave some chunks intact if you like that texture). Add the espresso/honey/egg mixture and whisk until everything is combined.
5. Pour the wet mixture over the dry, and mix a few times. Add the walnuts, and finish the mixing with a few confident mixes, being careful to not over do it. I love to use a dough whisk to help preven over agitation and gluten development.
6. Pour into the greasted loaf pan and level the top of the batter. If desired, sprinkle with extra cinnamon and swirl a few times with a butter knife. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. This loaf is extra moist, so don't be alarmted if you need to bake for a touch longer.
7. Cool in the pan for 15-20 minutes, then release loaf from pan and allow to cool fully on a cooling rack. Slice as desired and enjoy! Can be refrigerated for up to 1 week, or frozen (I like to pre-slice mine prior to freezing for easy thawing/re-heating) for up to 3 months.
Bananas that look like leopards are ideal for banana bread...Browned butter, ready and waiting!Sifting the dry ingredients is soothing, and also ensures all spices and leavners are homogenously distributed. Gift the goods a stir even after sifting to make double-sure. Also, I love my dough-whisk. If you're a quick-bread making fiend, I highly recommend!Take a step back...sip on that extra espresso shot you pulled yourself...and be sure you pre-heated your oven...on it!Mixing while the mixing is good! Walnuts in!Pour into pan, top with cinnamon (ps: Top With Cinnamon is a fine blog!), swirl about and bake!This loaf smells like banana-nut heaven when baking. Slice yourself a large slab, and enjoy with a hot cup of coffee. Repeat often.