ROASTED BANANA BREAD
Okay, why bother roasting bananas?
Well, if you have been reading my blog, you have probably noticed by now that I like to try new techniques, ingredients, different combinations when cooking or baking. Hmm, something new; I think I will try it!
In addition, as our weather gets colder, why not warm up the house by roasting the bananas before making the bread? You have to preheat the oven anyway.
WHAT DOES ROASTING DO?
When I saw this recipe, originally on the Better Homes and Gardens website, I immediately started thinking that roasting bananas would intensify the flavor and sweetness of the bananas. I can happily report that, indeed, that is what happens.
Allen and I always liked eating bananas that are slightly green, because they are less sweet. But you should use spotted bananas for this recipe to maximize the banana flavor.
Green bananas, even when roasted, are too astringent tasting for baking. Bananas that are green or just barely yellow have not yet converted starches to sugar. Roasting underripe bananas does not speed up the conversion, it just emphasizes the green, acerbic taste.
CREAMY, CARAMELIZED BANANAS ADD MOISTURE
I also think, after making this recipe a few times, that roasting increases the moistness of the bread because the bananas become creamier and softer after roasting. There is no need to add dairy in order to get a luscious mouthfeel because roasting gives them that soft, caramelized flavor.
Preheat the oven and put the bananas on a foiled line cookie sheet. Then simply let them get dark brown in the oven; it only takes about 15 minutes.
Squeeze the bananas out of their skin. Don’t make my mistake: take a second to put a small slit in each blackened skin so the caramelized banana goes in the bowl instead of all over your apron. In my defense, I only did that once!
ROASTING MAKES FOR EASY MIXING
I usually do this all by hand, but you could use a mixer if desired. The roasted bananas are easy to mash by hand, and the lumps only contribute to pockets of moist goodness.
You can also make this quick bread in muffin tins. I usually put half of the batter in a loaf pan and fill about 9 muffin tins with the rest of the batter. The muffins only take about 20 minutes of baking time. This recipe is a great make-ahead recipe, because it tastes even better the next day. Just wrap it tightly in foil and enjoy the next day with coffee or tea.
Roasted Banana Bread
- 5 medium bananas (unpeeled)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4C-1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans; optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Place bananas in prepared pan. Roast 15 minutes or until skins will turn dark brown; cool before handling.
Grease two 8 1/2-inch loaf pans.
In a large bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
Combine eggs, sugar, and oil in a medium bowl. Split banana skins and carefully squeeze the roasted bananas into the mixture in the bowl. Stir to completely combine, but it does not have to be smooth. Add the banana mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened –batter will be lumpy. Fold in nuts, if using. Spread batter in prepared loaf pan(s).
Bake 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in pans on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pans, cool completely on rack before slicing. This bread tastes even better the next day, so if you can wait, wrap, and store the cooled bread overnight before slicing.