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Sunday, May 3, 2015

May ABC Challenge: Brown Butter Banana Bread

Last February, I made these Chocolate Banana Muffins with Cayenne that called for browned butter, but felt the effort was lost among the other dominant flavors.  I liked the idea, though, so was happy to try this recipe.

I started with half the recipe, then made a few adjustments for personal taste.  The changes I made from exactly half the original recipe are in italics and strikeout.  Here's what I used:

¼ cup unsalted butter
½ cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium) 
½ large egg, at room temperature
¼ cup granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour 
3/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon ginger
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
3/8 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 8x4 6x3-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, letting it hang over the long sides.

Brown the butter by cooking it over medium-low heat while stirring frequently until it is fragrant and golden brown with little brown bits throughout. Pour it out into a clean bowl and set aside to cool until just warm.

In a small mixing bowl, mash up the banana with a fork. Add the cooled brown butter, egg, sugar, and lemon juice and whisk until blended.  Sift together the flour, baking soda, salt, and ginger. Add to the mixing bowl, then fold the dry ingredients in gently until just barely combined. Do not over-mix. Pour batter into pan and bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, about 45-55 35-40 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool before slicing. 

Conclusion:  This was a good banana bread recipe, moist, with good banana flavor.  It was a little wheaty, but not surprising since I used more than half whole wheat.  I couldn't detect a specifically "brown butter" flavor, but perhaps it was overrun by the whole wheat flavor.  (Certainly chocolate would have dominated, had I used it.)  I would try this recipe again with 100% white flour to see if I could detect the browned butter, but it would have to be a remarkable improvement to make it worth the extra time and effort.

Original recipe:  Brown Butter Banana Bread via Scientifically Sweet


  1. With the amount of chocolate you wouldn't have detected the brown butter flavor - I even didn't taste enough of the banana. Like you, I would change it, if I make it again, omitting the chocolate, and rather adding some nuts.
    Did you add any more liquid, with the whole wheat?