Saturday, July 16, 2011

Brown Butter Banana Strawberry Bread

This recipe is from one of my favorite baking blogs, Joy the Baker. If you haven't checked her out, you really should. But give yourself lots of time, because you won't be able to stop reading after just one recipe.
I saw this recipe on her blog when she posted it over a month ago, and I hadn't stopped thinking about it, so I figured I probably better try it out for myself.
When I was baking the cake(s) for the baby shower, I learned how to correctly prep a pan, so I went ahead and used flour baking spray for the bread pan and lined it with parchment paper. It makes it so much easier to remove from the pan!
Brown butter... this was something new for me. I totally felt like Julie on "Julie & Julia," trying out a new technique. :-) It was actually pretty easy, and worked just like the recipe said. Although I think I got it a little too brown, which is probably why the recipe says to use more butter than you actually need, so you can skim off the good stuff!
Mmm, the butter tasted really good just by itself, I bet it would be super-yummy on waffles or cinnamon toast.
Chopped strawberries are folded into the batter, and very thinly-sliced strawberries are put on top of the batter before baking.
I think next time I'll put more strawberries on top - they shrunk up a bit during cooking, and the batter rose, making them even farther apart.

Brown Butter Banana Strawberry Bread
adapted from

6 oz unsalted butter, melted and browned to just over 1/2 cup of butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 tsp strawberry extract
1/4 cup buttermilk (or 1 tablespoon buttermilk powder plus 1/4 cup water)
1 1/4 cup mashed banana (about 3 medium)
1/2 cup diced strawberries plus 2 strawberries very thinly sliced, for topping

Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°. Grease and flour a 9x5" loaf pan and set aside.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Butter will begin to foam and crackle as it melts. When the cracking subsides, the butter will begin to brown. Swirl the pan as the butter cooks. When the butter browns and begins to smell nutty, remove the pan from the heat and transfer butter to a small bowl. Taking the butter out of the hot saucepan will stop the butter from overcooking and burning. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. If using buttermilk powder, also add the powder but not the water. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, extract, and buttermilk. If using buttermilk powder, add the 1/4 cup water to these wet ingredients. Whisk in the mashed bananas. When butter has cooled, whisk in the browned butter.

Add the wet ingredients, all at once, to the dry ingredients. Fold together, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to reveal any hidden pockets of flour. Fold in the diced strawberries, trying not to overstir. Stir batter into prepared pan and top with thinly sliced strawberries. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 15 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

I used strawberry extract because I was somehow out of vanilla extract, but vanilla was used in the original recipe. Strawberry gave it an extra little flavor boost!

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