I've been wanting banana bread for a long time. I don't really know why-- normally I don't even like bananas, but banana bread has been sounding really good. So I bought bananas last week, and they were finally ripe enough for bread today. Then, of course, I had to decide on a recipe. There are thousands of recipes for banana bread out there! I ended up settling for one from a cookbook by my absolute favourite cookbook authors, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. I know I've written about them before, but really, all of their cookbooks are amazing! They don't focus on a specific country, but rather flavours: home baking, flatbreads, rice... Most of the recipes are from Asia, though, and the books are part cookbook, part travel guide, and part beautiful photography. I've liked every recipe I've ever made from one of ther books.
Anyway, banana-coconut bread it was. With a hint of rum and a crackly demerara sugar crust. Yum.
Banana-Coconut Bread (makes 1 loaf)
adapted from HomeBaking: the Artful Mix of Flour and Traditions from Around the World
3 large, over-ripe bananas
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
3/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
4 ounces margerine, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/8 tsp vinegar (I used apple cider)
2 tbsp dark rum
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
demerara or other coarse, raw sugar for sprinkling on top
Pre-heat the oven to 350 F. and butter a loaf pan. Whisk the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt together in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, cream the "butter" and sugar for several minutes. Add the rum and vinegar and mix for another minute. Starting with the banana mixture, add the banana and flour mixtures alternately, about a cup at a time. Do not over mix. When the last cup of flour is barely incorporated, use a spatula to fold the coconut in using several swift strokes. Scrape the thick batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, and sprinkle the top generously and evenly with the demerara sugar.
Bake for 50-65 minutes, until the top is golden and a tooth pick comes out cleanly. A 9x5 loaf pan will take less time to bake than an 8x4 pan.