This sourdough brown butter banana bread is a real treat!
Browned butter, molasses, extra kick coming from black pepper and nutmeg, nutty spelt flour, pecans - all make this sourdough banana bread a bake you will love to go back to! This is also one of our new favourite ways of using sourdough discard!
Butter noisette (brown butter) and reverse creaming create moist, creamy, melt-in-your mouth crumb.
For a good bake:
Bananas - use ripe (or over-ripe) bananas. Bananas should be at room temperature.
Sourdough discard - our starter has whipped cream consistency. If your starter is more liquid-y - use 3 (instead of 4) bananas in this recipe.
Sift flour with baking soda and baking powder - this will ensure even distribution of raising agents. We are using tiny amount of both in this recipe.
Browning butter - in our banana bread we use golden/brown butter. Cooking butter for 8-9 minutes will give you the desired colour. For more flavour we are using golden speckles too (no need to strain browned butter - use it all, scrape the bottom of the pan to mix it in with melted butter). Watch not to burn the butter when browning.
Sugar - you may opt to reduce white sugar by as much as 50% in this recipe. We love it exactly as the recipe suggests but nothing will happen to the texture if you opt to reduce.
Reverse creaming - it’s a simple technique where dry ingredients are mixed first and then butter and the rest of ingredients are added. What’s the benefit of using this technique here? Butter provides a ‘coating’ to all the dry ingredients. This will prevent flour from releasing too much gluten when other ingredients are added. If you don’t over-mix the batter you will get beautiful, delicate texture.
Beat eggs for about 3 minutes and add as a last step - this will add extra moisture and volume to your bread.
Don’t over-mix - use whisk or spoon to combine ingredients - few swift moves is all that is needed here.
Prepare tin - brush tin with butter and line with two criss-crossed pieces of parchment paper. We are using regular 2lb/900g loaf tin for this bake - it’s quite deep (6-7cm). You should have at least 2cm space between the batter and the rim of the tin.
Preheat oven well - start preheating oven 20-30 minutes before baking. Adjust oven to suggested temperature if you have fan forced oven. In this bake it’s important to know your oven - bake it nice and slow (the skin shouldn’t form too quickly).
Let the crumb set for 6-8 hrs before serving. This will ensure you get full flavour from this bake. On top of that, the crumb will set beautifully and the bread will be easier to cut and serve.
Storage - store at room temperature, wrapped loosely in a cotton tea towel. This bread will be moist and enjoyable for at least 3 days. You may also opt to cut it into slices and freeze. Double wrap each slice in cling film, place in a freezer bag, date and store for up to 8 weeks. When ready to use - thaw overnight in the fridge. You may opt then to heat it up for few minutes in the oven (180C, about 3 min).
Sourdough Brown Butter Banana Bread
Yield: 16 servings
Time: 25 min prep + 70-75 min baking
Tin: 900g/2lb loaf tin (12x20 cm, 6-7cm deep)
4 ripe bananas (570g, weighed with skins), room temp + 1 to decorate
100g sourdough starter
1 tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
227g unsalted butter
180g all-purpose flour
70g wholemeal spelt flour
2/3 tsp baking soda (2g)
1/4 tsp baking powder (0.6g)
2/3 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground black pepper (generous 1/4 tsp)
100g ground pecans
250g white sugar
50g light brown sugar
3 large eggs, room temp
1 and 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt (use 1/2 tsp if using table salt)
Brown sugar glaze (optional)
3 Tbsps brown sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (160C fan forced). Brush tin with butter and line with two criss-crossed pieces of parchment paper.
2. Prepare banana mixture: Finely mash (or blend) ripe bananas with sourdough starter, vanilla extract and molasses.
3. Brown butter: In a medium pot over medium heat brown butter. Cook butter for 8-10 minutes. It will be ‘noisy’ at first and after some 6-7 minutes the butter will become ‘silent’, that’s how you will know that butter fat starts cooking. Cook for another 2-3 min until golden brown (little fat speckles will set at the bottom of the pot and brown - that’s your nutty flavour, watch not to burn but don’t stir excessively). When ready, scrape the golden bits from the bottom of the pot and mix with the rest of butter (you don’t need to strain - use everything). Set aside to cool.
4. Combine: Sift into your main mixing bowl flours mixed with baking powder, baking soda, ground nutmeg, ground pepper (at the end whisk in leftover wholemeal bits). Then, whisk in ground pecans, white and brown sugars. Add browned butter and mix briefly until combined - the texture will resemble crumble topping. In a separate bowl beat eggs with coarse salt until fluffy (about 2-3 min). Add banana mixture to flour/ butter mixture, mix briefly. At the end, add fluffy eggs and mix only until combined. Transfer batter to the baking tin. Decorate with 1 extra banana cut in half.
5. Bake at 180C (160C fan forced) for 70-75 min. Cool in the tin for 10 min, then run thin knife around edges and transfer to the cooling rack. Cool for 6-8 hrs - for the crumb and flavour to set. Brown sugar glaze: in a small pot mix sugar with water, bring to boil and cook for 1 minute until some of the water evaporates and glaze thickens slightly. Brush top of the bread with hot glaze.