I've been eating a lot of salad lately. Which, I love. No seriously, I really do love a good green salad. But today was my day off, and I decided it was time to change things up. If you didn't already know, I like to bake on my day off. It helps me procrastinate doing laundry or going for a long run, and there's just something about it that heals and inspires.
After a quick glance in our freezer last night, I discovered a few very brown and very ripe bananas - dying to be made into banana bread! I immediately thought of Molly Wizenburg, who writes about banana bread nearly every month on her blog. It seemed only right that I use one of her recipes.
I've made her Banana Bread with Chocolate and Cinnamon Sugar before, and it is, truly, delicious. But I was convinced to try the Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crumble Topping when I read "this one is daintier and more balanced, closer to cake." I love a bread/cake that is dainty and well-balanced. But I also love chocolate. I couldn't help myself. Somehow a cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips made their way into my loaf.
Last week I had a stellar meal of a hard-boiled egg, a fresh baguette with brie, and a green salad with peppers, red onion, feta, and cucumber. A very European, oui, very French style spread. My favorite way to eat, really. But today, it was all about the banana bread. Who doesn't have brown bananas in their freezer taking up space, anyway?
Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crumble Topping
Adapted from Bakesale Betty and Bon Appétit, September 2008
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium bananas)
2 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup water
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 ½ Tbsp. packed dark brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 9- x 5-inch metal loaf pan. (Alternatively, you can spray the pan lightly with cooking spray and then line it with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the sides. That’s what I did, and it made it very easy to remove the finished bread from the pan; I just grabbed the parchment and lifted.)
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the banana, eggs, oil, honey, and water. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir well. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.
In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle them evenly over the batter.
Bake the bread until a tester inserted into its center comes out clean, about 1 hour, give or take a little. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then carefully remove the bread from the pan, taking care not to dislodge the topping. Cool completely before slicing.
Yield: 1 loaf