The other week I posted my recipe for a Trappist Single Ale over on the Drink Beer side of the website. While doing quality control testing of the beer, aka drinking a good deal of it, it dawned on me that I should make some banana bread with it. Ok, that's a lie, Lorelei mentioned she wanted some banana bread and I was buzzed enough to make some.
So I did what I normally do, search out as many recipes as I can and mix and match until I come up with something I like in my head. Baking powder and baking soda need acid to really help them reach their potentials as leavening agents, which is why you'll see things like apple cider vinegar or lemon juice added to a lot of recipes. Instead of a traditional acid, I used beer. Beer usually has a pH of around 4.0, which makes it perfect for this recipe. While the acidity was the main reason I used beer, the flavor profile was still important. My Trappist Single has notes of clove and a biscuity honey maltiness, which would work well with banana, cinnamon, and allspice. Commercial beer styles that would work well would be a good hefeweizen (which often have banana notes from the yeast) or a Belgian wit.
The rest of the ingredients are pretty standard. I like a lot of bananas in my banana bread because bananas are delicious. A good dose of cinnamon and a light undertone of allspice help create the spice base, but the star is totally the bananas here. I like to keep some chunks of banana in the bread if I can, gives a nice burst of extra flavor in the finished product. And the toasted and crushed walnuts give some nice crunch to the finished product.
- 2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup beer (use something like a Belgian wit or hefeweizen)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 3 very ripe medium bananas, mashed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
Preheat your oven to 325F, and spray a loaf pan with with non-stick spray. In a small bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients. In a larger mixing bowl, add all the wet ingredients, and mix and mash everything together. Keep some chunks of banana for texture in the bread.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients in two batches. Try to minimize your mixing, doing so until the ingredients are just combined before adding the next batch. Stir in the crushed walnuts.
Pour the batter into your loaf pan, turn your oven up to 350F, and place in the oven. Bake for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the bread from the oven and let it cool in the pan. Slice and stuff in your face.