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The Best Banana Bread

Ingredients

• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• ½ cup whole wheat flour
• ½ teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• ½ teaspoon salt
• ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into one-inch pieces
• ¾ cup + 1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar
• ½ teaspoon orange zest
• ¼ cup crème fraiche
• 2 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 teaspoon dark rum
• 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1 ½ cups)
• ½ cup toasted and coarsely chopped, pecans

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan and line with parchment paper making sure to leave at least a 2-inch overhang on each side. This will help the banana bread to slide easily out of the pan once baked.

Place the butter in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, until it smells nutty and fragrant and is a light brown color. Pour the browned butter into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and set aside to let cool for at least 10 minutes.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

Add the brown sugar and orange zest to the bowl with the browned butter and beat at medium speed until everything is well incorporated. Then add in the crème fraiche and beat until the mixture is light and fluffy (about 1 – 2 mins).

Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add in the vanilla extract and rum and continue beating until the mixture is light and fluffy again (about another 2 mins or so).

Drop your mixer speed to low and add in the dry ingredients. Mix only until they are partially incorporated. Then add in your mashed bananas and mix until everything just comes together.

Remove the bowl from your stand mixer and, using a rubber spatula, fold the nuts into the batter.

Pour the batter into your prepared pan and, using a small off-set spatula, smooth the top. Bang the pan on the counter a couple times to get rid of any air bubbles and then bake for 55 – 60 minutes or until the bread springs back lightly when gently pressed (if you press on it and it stays indented you’ll want to give it a few more minutes). If you notice the top getting too brown, you can tent it with some foil while the bread finishes baking.

Let the banana bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Then remove from the pan and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. I know it’s hard to wait, but you definitely want to let it cool before slicing!

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