It’s Banana bread this time at the Avid Bakers. But not just any banana bread, it’s a Brown Butter Banana Bread from Christina Marsigliese’s website ‘Scientifically Sweet‘.
Brown butter is exactly what it is called- butter that has been heated till it turns brown.
Used extensively in French cooking, it is called buerre noisette, or hazelnut butter, as the resulting butter has a nutty flavor and when added to sea food, pastas or even to cookies, cakes, pie crusts, puddings and icings, it imparts a rich flavor to the food.
Butter is an emulsion of water, fat and milk protein solids. When we heat it, it melts and the water evaporates and the milk solids turn brown (basically they are being fried in the fat).
It is very simple to make though it could easily tip over to burnt butter, which we definitely do not want. That would add an unwanted bitter taste instead of the nutty one that is desired.
To make brown butter, it is essentially melted over low heat. As it melts, the milk solids separate and float on the fat. As you continue heating, large bubbles form. This is the water evaporating from the butter. After sometime, the bubbles get smaller and it turns foamy. It also stops crackling and you can smell the nutty aroma. Continue cooking till it is an amber color, remove from heat and immediately transfer to another heat-proof bowl. This is to prevent it from cooking further.
This Brown Butter Banana Bread is made much as muffins. The dry and wet ingredients are combined separately and then mixed till they just come together.
Though there are many other flavors besides the bananas, like brown butter, chocolate chips and lemon juice, I find that the banana flavor tends to overpower everything else. Maybe it is my bias against bananas! It is not my favorite fruits.
The bread was soft and tender on the day I baked it, but it was quite dry on the next day.
Definitely not something I will make again!
Brown Butter Banana Bread
113 gms unsalted butter
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (I used 1 large)
1 large egg, at room temperature
100 gms granulated sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
235 gms all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup chocolate chips
Line an 8″ by 4″ loaf-pan with parchment paper. Let it hang a couple of inches over the long side (this makes it easier to remove the loaf from the pan).
Preheat the oven to 190C/ 375F.
Brown the butter by melting over low heat. Stir frequently and cook till it is fragrant and turns golden brown with flecks of brown solids.
Immediately transfer to a bowl and cool till just warm.
Mash the bananas with a fork and place in a medium mixing bowl.
Add the cooled butter, egg, sugar and lemon juice and whisk to blend.
Place the flour, baking soda, sugar and cinnamon in a sieve and sift it over the wet ingredients.
Gently fold together till just combined. Add chocolate chips and fold them in too.
Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 40-55 minutes (mine took 38 minutes) or till a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer pan to wire rack.
Remove the loaf after 10 minutes and cool on wire rack before slicing.