Banana Date-Walnut Bread

Banana Date-Walnut Bread

Banana Date-Walnut Bread

I think everyone should have a good banana bread recipe in their baking repertoire. It’s just a good go-to cake that lends itself to many occasions. This is a great bread to bring to showers and brunches, birthdays and lunches. It’s great with a cup of coffee or tea, and even a big glass of milk.

This particular recipe comes to us from my good friend Gail Berger.  She is a baker extraordinaire. We met while we were both attending a professional baking program and have been culinary soul mates ever since. Gail is definitely a kindred spirit and we spend many hours on end together trolling the bakeries, cafes and eateries of Los Angeles searching for the ultimate in baked goods. Yeah, we complain about our weight a lot, usually as we’re downing a chocolate chip cheesecake or an expertly crafted dobos torte. But we continue relentlessly on our journey in search of that holy grail of baked goods.

I think you’ll be as pleased with Gail’s recipe as I was. It’s extremely moist (which is actually a term I find bizarre in describing food items), the walnuts give the bread a nice crunch, and the dates add a pleasing texture to the bread. When I wrapped this bread in plastic wrap and let it sit over night the flavors in it melded together and tasted better the second day. You might just want to try that approach.

The beautiful mahogany color of this Banana Date-Walnut Bread

The beautiful mahogany color of this Banana Date-Walnut Bread

Banana Date-Walnut Bread 

Recipe Courtesy of My Friend Gail Berger

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg (if you don’t have it, you can use powdered)
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 6 dates chopped (tossed in 1 teaspoon of flour to keep them separated)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, and grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan with melted butter.
  2. In a large bowl, sift all the dry ingredients together and set aside.
  3. Cut up the bananas in chunks and place in a large bowl and mash them with a spoon.  Take the banana mixture and place it into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and add the sugar. Beat the mixture on medium-high speed until it’s light and fluffy. Add the butter, eggs and vanilla extract and beat on medium, just until incorporated. Scape sown the sides of the bowl as needed.
  4. Add the flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed just until ingredients are incorporated. Fold in the nuts and dates.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and give it a good rap on the counter to get out any air bubbles.
  6. Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes or until tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Cool in pan for about a half-hour and then turn out to cool completely on a rack before slicing.
Banana Date-Walnut Bread

Banana Date-Walnut Bread

Recipe: Easy