September 25, 2014

Maple Glazed Maple Banana Bread or How Many Times Can I Use the Word "Maple" in One Post?



Maple Glazed Maple Banana Bread


Nineteen, as it turns out. My thesaurus provides no other option.

My favorites pancakes are at The Egg & I, a breakfast place in Minneapolis. I used to go there in my post-college hangover days, then my post-long-run training-for-marathon days, then my post-childbirth up-all-night-jiggling-a-baby-to-sleep days. Now I just go with the kids when I'm hungry for a big breakfast and too lazy to cook. Their multi-grain "kamikaze" cakes are huge and tender and topped with berries, bananas, nuts and lots of butter and maple syrup. I also love their veggie omelet but today I was thinking about those pancakes when I made this bread (I would've included berries but fresh berries never stick around for long in our fridge).

I used maple sugar—a pricey alternative to white or brown that has nice maple flavor and is twice as sweet so you use less—and maple syrup. I also browned the butter. Ever since I made this bread with brown butter I don't want it any other way. It didn't have quite enough maple flavor so I added a sweet glaze on top, with a good dose of salt to liven it up. If you have maple extract, I would substitute it for the vanilla. I couldn't find any at my local grocery so will be ordering some online because I think there's a bunch of maple goodies in my future.





Maple Glazed Maple Banana Bread

makes one loaf

2 cups flour (I used half AP and half whole wheat)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup maple sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, browned*
1 teaspoon vanilla or maple extract
3 overripe bananas, mashed, plus more to slice on top
Handful of walnuts for top (optional)

*put butter in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat and let bubble and pop as it browns, swirling the pan occasionally. When it gets quiet and brown bits appear, take it off the heat and swirl to cool.

1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Butter and flour a loaf pan.

2. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and maple sugar together in a large bowl.

3. Whisk buttermilk, eggs, maple syrup, extract, bananas and cooled brown butter in a separate bowl. Add to dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated. Pour into prepared pan and arrange sliced bananas and walnuts on top, if using. Bake for about 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for about 10 minutes then turn out onto rack or large plate. Drizzle with glaze.


Maple Glaze

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher  or sea salt
3/4 cup powdered sugar

1. Melt butter in a saucepan along with syrup then add salt and sugar and whisk until smooth. Use while it's warm (it will harden as it cools).
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