Feb 4, 2009

banana bread with cinnamon crumble topping

I love banana bread, but as I strive to eat locally I have a really hard time justifying purchasing banana's from South America. With a deep craving for this wonderfully warm, fragrant and sprinkled with cinnamon sugar banana bread, I finally broke down and allowed myself one week to purchase bananas from the grocery store. It felt like betrayal to the season and to all the fabulous Northern California fruit.

I found this banana bread one of the first Sunday's we went to the market, the Bakesale Betty's booth was sampling a possible new product, banana bread. Little did I know what a treat I was about to taste. Loaded with fresh banana flavor, chewy, yet soft, and sprinkled with just enough sugar on top; it tasted indulgent and somewhat healthy, how could I resist. That was the only Sunday that I found the banana bread at the market, though I'm sure you can purchase it at Betty's store any day of the week. The following month skimming through the September issue of Bon Appetit I found the exact recipe from Bakesale Betty's featured. My lucky day! I don't know when I'll break down again, but after savoring this bread all week I think it was worth that little bit of guilt.

I've only made the bread one other time, and after this past Sunday there were a couple adjustments I would make for the next time I'm craving this yummy Sunday treat.

Recipe for Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crumble Topping
By Bakesale Betty's, makes 1 loaf of bread

1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 T sugar
2 t ground cinnamon, divided
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium)
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used canola, Walnut might also be good)
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup water
2 and 1/2 T (packed) brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter and flour 9x5x3-inch metal baking pan. Whisk 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 t. cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. Whist next 5 ingredients in large bowl until smooth. Add dry ingredients; stir to blend. Transfer batter to pan. Mix 2 T. sugar, 1 t. cinnamon, and brown sugar; sprinkle over batter.

Bake bread until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour (in my oven it took about 1.5 hours). Cool bread in pan 30 minutes. Turn pan on its side; slide out bread, being careful not to dislodge topping. Turn bread right side up and cool completely.

Alison's Notes:
The next time I make it I will probably add nuts, pecans or walnuts would both be good. Also I plan to try pouring the topping over the batter and then sticking a fork into the mix pushing it down directly into the dough, hopefully baking it right into the bread and so not losing so much of it every time I cut a slice of bread.

(photography by: alison clayshulte)

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