Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pecan-Peanut Butter-Banana Bread

Pecan-Peanut Butter-Banana Bread
Source: Maida Heatter's Cakes (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 2011 ed.), pg. 267.

More banana bread! This time with peanut butter, which I've not tried before. This is an old recipe and said to be used by George Washington's family. It was also the specialty of Corrie Hill, a famous Montgomery, Alabama hostess who was a relative of George Washington.

It seems that every recipe by Maida calls for a different sized pan. I don't know how much room she had for storage but it had to have been large! This recipe says to use 2 small loaf pans with a 4-5 cup capacity. I used a slightly larger pan and, as a result, I think the bread turned out rather thin. It was still good, however, very dense, nutty and wheaty. I could not detect the peanut butter flavor though which was disappointing.

1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup sifted whole wheat flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
3 oz. (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
2 eggs
2 to 3 fully ripened bananas (to make 1 cup, mashed)
6 oz. (1 1/2 cups) pecan halves or large pieces, toasted 

To toast the pecans: Place them in a shallow pan in the middle of a preheated 350 degree oven for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are hot but not until they become darker in color. (I find that when I smell them, they are done).

Mash the bananas with a large fork so that they remain chunky (don't use a food processor or blender).

Preheat oven to 375. Butter 2 small loaf pans, each with a 4-5 cup capacity (8"x4"x2"). Dust them with fine bread crumbs or toasted wheat germ. Set aside.

Sift the flours, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside.
Beat the butter until softened.
Add the peanut butter.
Beat until blended.
Add the brown sugar.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until mixed.
Add the bananas, beating well.
On low speed, add the dry ingredients and beat only until incorporated.
Stir in the pecans.
Pour the batter, divided equally, into the two pans.
Smooth the top of the batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350 and bake for an additional 25-40 minutes. When a tester, inserted in the midde, comes out clean, it is done.

The bread will not rise too much at all. My loafs look a bit thinner because of the larger pans I used.

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