Brown Butter Banana Bread
This brown butter banana bread is simple to make. Whole wheat and almond flour add flavor and added nutrition.
Don’t be surprised if you see a lot of banana recipes around here for the next few days (weeks?). Connor and I have both had amnesia whilst grocery shopping as of late, continuously picking up one bunch after the other, until we realized that our fruit bowl was practically collapsing from the weight of them all.
And there are only so many frozen banana smoothies you can consume, before you are forced to bake something. I know, such a tough life.
This brown butter banana bread is actually a simple twist on my favorite healthy banana bread, which my mom used to make for us all the time growing up. It involves brown butter, which is a wonderful thing.
Butter is made up of three components: fat, milk solids, and water. Most standard American butter is comprised of about 80% pure butterfat, whereas European butters generally contain roughly 83-84% butterfat, which for pastries is a superior thing.
The other 20% is water and milk solids. When you make clarified butter you are essentially evaporating most of the water content and removing the milk solids, which is what causes butter to burn easily at relatively low cooking temperatures.
In case any of you haven’t used it before, brown butter is essentially clarified butter that has been taken one step further.
Instead of skimming or separating out the milk solids, you actually allow them to do what they do naturally, which is sink to the bottom of the pan and start to caramelize and brown. Now, there is a fine line between brown and burnt butter (and trust me, that line will be obvious once you smell the difference).
I threw away many a pot of burnt butter during culinary school when I wasn’t paying attention. But if you get it just right, you will be left with butter that has so much added flavor. It is incredibly fragrant and nutty.
This banana bread recipes uses part whole wheat flour and almond flour for added flavor and nutrition. To really bring it to the next level, you could even choose to top this bread with a brown butter glaze!
Brown Butter Banana Bread
- 8 tablespoons (115g) unsalted butter
- ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1¼ cups mashed very ripe banana about 3 medium-sized bananas
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup (120g) whole wheat flour
- ½ cup (60g) unbleached all purpose flour
- ½ cup (55g) fine almond flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅓ cup (80 mL) boiling or very hot water
- How to Brown Butter: Put the butter in small saucepan and place over low heat. The butter will quickly begin to bubble and foam, swirl the pan continuously and use a whisk to stir the butter continuously. Once the butter becomes fragrant and you notice brown bits forming at the bottom, remove from the heat immediately and transfer to a small bowl. Allow to cool until lukewarm or room temperature.
- Prepare Banana Bread: Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) with a rack in the center position. Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the cooled brown butter, granulated sugar, and mashed banana until mostly smooth. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs one at a time beating until incorporated.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, almond flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and nutmeg. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry flour in three additions, alternating with two additions of hot water, allowing the dry ingredients to be absorbed fully with each addition. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure that all of the ingredients have incorporated evenly.
- Transfer the batter into the greased loaf pan. Use a spatula to smooth the surface. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set pan on a wire rack and allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 5 to 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before serving.