I got a new cookbook last week, The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook. I had had my eye on this collection of recipes for a few months and finally got around to ordering it on Amazon. It’s a wonderful addition to anyone’s collection if you like baking from scratch. Cheryl and Griffith Day opened their bakery in Savannah, Georgia in 2002 and it’s become one of the most “in” places for foodies in Savannah, if not the South. Paula Deen wrote the forward and she congratulates the Days on their sense of style and vintage look of their restaurant as it transports her to days gone by in her grandmother’s kitchen. Cheryl Day has developed the sweets menu and husband Griffith is the “master behind the flavorful breads and the creative savory menu.”
Since I had six bananas that had turned black, I decided to start with the recipe for Brown Sugar Banana Bread. It’s moist and hearty and was not difficult to make. Here is the recipe:
BROWN SUGAR BANANA BREAD
2 cups unbleached flour
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon ground mace
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1-1/4 cups pecans, toasted and chopped
1-1/2 cups well mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
1/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar for sprinkling (optional)
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray and line the bottom with parchment.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, light brown sugar, baking soda, salt, mace, cinnamon, and pecans, then set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix the mashed bananas, sour cream, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a sturdy wooden spoon. Gently fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula. It will be very thick. If using, sprinkle the dark brown sugar on top of the loaf. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes until the loaf is golden brown and a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool the bread in the loaf pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature. Wrapped in parchment, the bread will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.
VARIATION: Omit the pecans and fold in 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips instead.
My first attempt at this recipe turned out great even though I doubled the recipe and made a few changes. No problems with doubling it (remember, I had the six bananas to start), but I did not have any pecans on hand. What I did have was lots of walnuts, so I simply chopped them up fine and used them in place of the pecans–about 3/4 cup of walnuts to the called for 1-1/4 cups pecans. Also, since I found some chocolate toffee bits in the freezer, I added about 1/4 cup of those to the batter for the double recipe, and then sprinkled the rest on top before putting it into the oven.
Give this one a try, you will like it!