Thursday, April 5, 2012

Skillet Fried Banana Bread

This is what happens when I leave my husband alone in the kitchen.
Really I should know better. Jeremy has the demented superpower of being able to take something reasonable like low fat banana bread and turn it into complete decadence. Diets are ruined, whipped cream stores are depleted, and sweet sweet awesomeness always ensues.
This banana bread recipe is like a regular banana bread recipe except instead of using butter I used more banana and a little coconut milk I had left over from another recipe. I replace butter with pureed fruit/vegetables a lot in quick breads and I think they come out better for it. They taste fruitier and are moister too. My pumpkin spice bread recipe doesn't use any butter either. If you don't have any coconut milk just add a few more ounces of mashed banana. I didn't use enough for the bread to have a coconut flavor anyway. As with most fruity quick breads, this tastes way better day two. So bake your bread the day before you want to fry it.

The frying is basically the technique we use for grilled cheese sandwiches. Butter both sides and brown in a skillet.  Then Jeremy went totally bananas (har har) and made some sweetened whipped cream spiked with bourbon. The whipped cream gets all melty and the boozy taste soaks into the bread. The taste is bananas foster meets bread pudding. If I'm confessing all the sugary sins we committed with this bread than I have to tell you on a couple of pieces I also added a little cider syrup I canned around the holidays. A little drizzle of caramel or butterscotch would be equally excellent.

Skillet Fried Banana Bread
Yields 1 Loaf (About 12-16 slices)
Cooking Time: For the bread: 80 minutes (20 active) Make a day ahead. To serve: 10 minutes or less
Adapted from this recipe on


For the bread:

1 cup (115 grams) walnuts or pecans, coarsely chopped
1 3/4 cups (230 grams) all-purpose flour
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 ripe large bananas (approximately 20 ounces or 567 grams), mashed with a fork 
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the whipped cream: 
a few tablespoons heavy cream
bourbon or rum, optional
a few teaspoons sugar 

butter, for frying


Make the bread:

1. Grease a loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Stir all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl and all the wet ingredients together in another bowl.

3. Pour the wet into the dry and stir just until all the flour is moistened. 

4. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.

5. Cool in the pan on a rack.

To serve:

1. Using an electric mixer, whip a few tablespoons of heavy cream to soft peaks.

2. Add sugar and bourbon to taste. Start with just a teaspoon or less of alcohol because it can easily become overpowering. Whip to stiff peaks.
3. Slice the bread 1/4 to a 1/2 inch thick depending on how many slices you want.

4. Spread both sides of slices with a very thin layer of butter. 

5. Fry in a skillet over medium heat until golden brown, about 1 minute per side.

6. Serve hot with dollops of whipped cream on top. And if you want to be really bad, add a drizzle of caramel, butterscotch, or even maple syrup.

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