Cranberry walnut banana bread
You won’t want to wait until Thanksgiving to bake this rich quick bread.
Gray skies and autumn rainfall in Israel. I recognize the craving for baked goods that comes over me as soon as the weather turns chilly, and start looking through my recipes to find one that answers the need. Bananas are in season now, how about a banana bread? But a plain banana bread seems kind of boring. This loaf, bursting as it is with big flavors and textures, solves the problem.
Even with mashing the bananas and crushing the walnuts, it takes all of 20 minutes to prepare. I particularly like that the crust of this quick bread is a tad crunchy, with the tender crumb underneath and its dried fruit and chunks of walnut. And the spicy, sweet fragrance wafting around the house while it's baking … the husband and kids may come home grumpy, shaking umbrellas out and shedding damp jackets, but the delicious odor makes their eyes brighten, and they advance toward me with big hugs. Isn’t it great how much they love you when you’re baking?
I’m thinking that with Thanksgiving around the corner, this quick bread would easily fit into the holiday menu. Not as sweet as a cake, homely rather than elegant, it makes a fine snack or light dessert. Or breakfast even, with coffee.
Cool this rich loaf before slicing it. Although if you don’t mind some crumbly bits, it’s really divine served warm.
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup softened butter
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped or crushed walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° C).
Line the loaf pan with baking parchment.
In a large bowl, cream the sugar and butter together until smooth.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until very smooth.
In a separate bowl, blend the mashed bananas and milk.
Measure the flour and add the baking powder to it; mix. Reserve 2 tablespoons.
Add the flour alternately with the milk/banana mixture, starting and ending with the flour.
Blend the vanilla extract into the batter.
Dust the cranberries and walnuts with the reserved dry flour mixture. Mix them into the batter thoroughly.
Bake 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Check the bread 40 minutes into the baking time. If it seems that the crust is browning too quickly, place a strip of tin foil loosely over the top.
Related Topics: Baking