Now that the holidays are over, as you can tell, I'm back to trying out new recipes and back on my baking challenge. Much as I love baking for the holidays, I also love constantly trying new recipes. One thing I made over and over for my holiday gifts was Petra's banana bread. So you'd think I'd be sick of making it by now. And in a way, I am. But I still can't resist trying out a new recipe, especially since I still had overripe bananas on hand. This recipe from Miette includes a streusel so it was a little different from my usual recipe. Besides, you gotta love streusel. I also liked that in the description of the recipe, the book describes it as being more cakey, which is also like Petra's recipe.
This came out pretty well. I wouldn't say it's better (or worse) than Petra's recipe but I liked it too. The texture was cakey more than quick-bread-y. The banana bread itself is not as sweet as Petra's recipe but that could also be due to the nutty streusel topping imparting a complementary toasted pecan flavor. But overall it is sweeter because of the streusel. It's actually more like a banana coffeecake because of the streusel so I'm renaming it for my own purposes. Overall, thumbs up.
½ cup (2 ounces) pecan pieces
¼ cup (2 ounces) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup (1 ½ ounces) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 ¼ cups (11 ounces) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 ½ cups (10 ½ ounces) sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
4 medium soft, but not black, bananas (about 1 pound total) peeled and roughly mashed
½ cup (2 ounces) pecan pieces
1. Liberally butter four 5-by-3-inch or two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans and dust with sifted flour. Tap out the excess flour.
2. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
3. To make the streusel: In a food processor, add the pecans, sugar, flour, butter, cinnamon, vanilla and salt and pulse until coarsely combined. Transfer to a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 5 days.
4. To make the banana bread: sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into a bowl and set aside.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the sugar, eggs, and vanilla on medium speed until well combined and lightened in color, 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and drizzle in the oil, whisking until combined. Add the banana mash and whisk just until combined. Add the dry ingredients and pecans to the batter in three additions, whisking just to combine after each addition. Do not overmix.
6. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Sprinkle the tops with the streusel, dividing it evenly. (You may not need all of the streusel if making the smaller loaves.) Bake until the breads have risen nicely and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes for the small loaves and 45 to 50 minutes for the larger loaves. Transfer to wire racks and let cool in the pans for 20 minutes. Run an offset spatula around the edges of the pans, then invert the cakes onto the racks and let cool for about 20 minutes longer. Serve right away, or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until you are ready to serve, up to 3 days. To freeze, wrap tightly in a second layer of plastic and store in the freezer for up to 2 months. Serve at room temperature.