Sammy the Seal

Hazelnut banana bread

In delicious on Wednesday, 25 May, 2011 at 0:51

Wow, how long since I made this? A year even? I used to make it quite often, but that’s probably because of a limited (not that my library is burgeoning even now) repertoire. Strangely, never tried hazelnuts before. A shame, because they’re rather inexpensive. I found some at $6/lb, and you only need about 1/4 lb. The pre-packaged usually costs more for about 1/8 lb., and you get them whole so you can roast and chop them yourselves. Hooray, freshness! So:

4 medium-sized overripe bananas (plan ahead and intentionally buy too many bananas, or put them in a paper bag for a few days to speed up the process)
1 egg, well-beaten
1/2 c = 4 oz. = 1 stick butter, melted and cooled
1.5 c flour
1 c sugar (superfine if you got it), maybe even 1 T or so less
1 t salt
1 t baking soda
a couple dashes of allspice (optional)
a few dashes of cinnamon (optional)
≥ 1/2 c roasted, chopped nuts (around 1/4 lb if you’re buying in bulk)

First, set the oven to 170° or the lowest your oven will go, whichever is higher. The butter is first to be prepped, since it needs time to cool, the longer the better (melted butter retains heat rather well). If melting in the microwave, melt the stick in bursts, about 15-17 seconds at a time, swirl around, then back in. I think it takes about three rounds. (If you set the timer to do it in one fell swoop, the butter will get too hot too quickly and you’ll likely have butter on the inside of the microwave. Then set aside to cool. Next, I roasted the nuts, since roasting takes time and you can do everything else in the meantime. (Or you can do it before attempting the recipe.) Science says that if you put nuts in the oven for too long, it destroys the delicate fats/oils or something, so the lower, the better. They say 170° is ideal, happy coincidence that that’s my oven’s baseline temperature. Put the nuts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for 15-20 minutes. Don’t forget about them, even at the low temperature.

While waiting for the nuts to roast, get out two mixing bowls. In one, sift or whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and spices, if applicable. In the other bowl, drop all the bananas in and mash them (I wish I had a masher…). None of this should take long, so you’ll probably have to wait for the nuts to finish. When done, remove the nuts from the oven, set it to 350°, then transfer the nuts to a cutting board and start choppin’. The size of the nut pieces is up to you, though I wouldn’t go so far as to mince them– chunky bread good. You might have dust from chopping, I add it to the batter as well as the chunks rather than just adding the nuts and tossing the dust. In fact, unless you bought way too many nuts, I’d be using every last bit of them.

Whisk the egg and butter into the mashed bananas for about a minute, then stir in (you don’t need a mixer for any of this, just blend well) the flour mixture until completely incorporated, then stir in the nuts. Pour into a 9×5 loaf pan (grease it first if you don’t have nonstick, but only about an inch up the sides, not the whole inside) and bake for 55-60 minutes. When the loaf is done, let it cool for 20-25 minutes before attempting to remove it from the pan, then cool on a rack.

With no inflated sense of pride, I must say it’s yum.

hazelnut banana 1

hazelnut banana 2

Yes, that's another loaf beside it. One is most definitely not enough to feed myself and others.

hazelnut banana 3

How about a shot on the counter, rather than over the sink? Serrated knife in your face-- look out!

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  1. […] of bread, for once. Rather than going out to get nuts, I remembered my find. I used the same recipe for bread I always use, except I didn’t spice it and, instead of nuts, I used 3/4 cups milled flax […]

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