Browned Butter Banana Bread is an indulgent breakfast or afternoon treat made a little healthier by swapping in some whole wheat pastry flour. Growing up, my mom made banana bread a lot. Her go-to recipe was from the Fannie Farmer cookbook. I love that recipe, but it is actually a cake, not a quick bread, more delicate and dessert-like. This banana bread is somewhere in between, with a tender, moist crumb. Make this for gifts or serve to guests during the holiday season for a special treat.
This browned butter banana bread is adapted from a recipe from The Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg, a gift from my kids last Christmas. After volunteering for a year in a commercial kitchen and watching a professional pastry chef create the most beautiful baked goods, I was inspired to improve my baking skills. Baking requires a lot more precision than cooking. Several years ago, when I was learning how to bake gluten-free, I was introduced to the concept of ratios and weighing ingredients when baking.
Although I don’t usually weigh out ingredients when baking, I did for this recipe because the original recipe’s ingredients were listed with weights. This was also important since I substituted whole wheat pastry flour for half the regular bread flour. So, 170 grams of whole wheat pastry flour ended up being 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon versus bread flour at 1 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon.
I converted everything back to cups and tablespoons to make it easier for you if you don’t have a measuring scale and want to try this recipe.
Browning the butter adds extra caramel-like flavor to this banana bread, and the crust was especially delicious. I did bake the loaf pans on top of a baking sheet to prevent the bottoms from getting too dark as suggested in the original recipe.
Browned Butter Banana Bread
Makes 2 loaves
- 13 tablespoons unsalted organic butter
- 1 3/4 cups organic sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups ripe bananas mashed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon bread flour
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter in a saucepan and continue to cook over medium low heat until brown bits form on bottom of pan. Remove from heat. Let cool slightly; then stir in sugar. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, bananas and vanilla and beat until well combined.
In a separate bowl, whisk together whole wheat pastry flour, bread flour, salt and baking soda. Gradually add to banana batter and mix until just combined.
Divide between two 8" loaf pans. Bake 50-55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Adapted from The Professional Pastry Chef by Bo Friberg