Every cook has a dish that they are known for. Something that they have perfected and just the mere mention of your dish makes your friends’ and relatives’ mouths water. Well, Banana Nut Bread is mine. You could even say that it is my signature dish. This recipe is complicated; you will have several dishes to clean after making it so be prepared. But it is worth it!
My friends have all asked me to rename the dish to Nut Banana Bread because I overload it with nuts. This helps me feel less guilt about eating loaves at a time. Feel free to substitute any nuts, seeds, spices or dried fruit you want but do not change anything else. Baking is a precise art and it has taken me forever to get this recipe perfected! By the way, this recipe makes 3 hefty loaves of bread. I always share one with a friend or neighbor, quickly eat one and freeze the other for desperate times. There is nothing better than thinking you are going to go hungry and look in the freezer and find a loaf of this amazing bread. YUM!
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 large ripe bananas, mashed
16 ounces of sour cream
5 large eggs
1 ½ tablespoons vanilla (I love vanilla and tend to be very generous with it)
2 cups butter, room temperature
4 cups cake flour (this gives your bread amazing texture and airiness)
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups dried fruit (I love using a mixture of yellow raisins, dried cherries, dried blueberries and dried cranberries. For those of you who are traditional, feel free to use a mix of raisins or whatever else you like)
2 cups toasted, chopped walnuts (I like to use macadamia nuts, walnuts, hazelnuts, pecans and even pistachio. I usually throw everything in here that I have left over from baking other goodies.)
Preheat oven to 350F degrees
Lightly grease with 1 tablespoon of butter each of the three bread loaf pans. (I don’t have three bread loaf pans so I tend to use whatever I have in hand.)
In a food processor, whip the eggs until they triple in volume. Add the sour cream, vanilla and bananas and continue to puree all of the ingredients together.
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. I like to sift twice to get the maximum smoothness. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and mix until well blended.
Add the wet ingredients in small batches to the dry ingredients, mix and then add more.
Fold in the nuts and dried fruit to the batter.
Pour mixture into the various pans and bake for 60-80 minutes. You should be able to put a toothpick in the center and it should come out clean. You are also looking for the bread to bounce back when touched.
Let cool before removing from pan. Serve plain, with whipped cream or with cream cheese.