I have for you an equation. It's fairly simple, no worries if you're not into arithmetic.
Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard about the phenomenon that is brown butter. This is the first factor of our equation.
Somehow I don't have bananas or banana bread batter pictured, but lets pretend we've added this glorious butter to said batter. You know what banana bread is, right? If not...I highly encourage you to smash some over-ripe bananas and make it happen.
Diced strawberries are in this equation now. Crazytown! As a rule, these berries are water-y and big, and not entirely ideal for baked goods. But here they soak into the bread, creating moist pockets with a hint of strawberry flavor. Feel free to wipe the drool off your keyboard/iPhone/iPad/iPod/iWhatever.
Ok wait! Here's banana bread batter. This is our equation coming together, artfully decorated with thinly-sliced strawberries.
Equation complete! Right? Wrong!
Never forget the cream cheese factor, or your result will be way off.
Strawberry Brown Butter Banana Bread
Yield: one 9x5 inch loaf
- 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks, 12 tbsp.) unsalted butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk
- 1 1/4 cup mashed ripe banana (from about 3 medium bananas)
- 1/2 cup diced strawberries plus 1 thinly sliced strawberry for topping
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
Melt butter in a light-colored saucepan over medium heat. Butter will begin to foam and crackle as it melts. When the crackling subsides, the bits at the bottom will begin to brown, and the butter will start to turn golden. Swirl the pan as the butter cooks. When the butter bits are brown, the liquid is deeply golden, and it begins to smell nutty, remove the pan from the heat and immediately transfer to a small bowl. This stops the butter from cooking and possibly burning. Set aside and let cool.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, vanilla extract, and yogurt or buttermilk. Whisk in the mashed banana. When cooled, whisk in the browned butter.
Add the wet ingredients all at once to the dry ingredients. Fold together, making sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl to reveal any hidden pockets of flour. Briefly but completely fold in the sliced strawberries, taking care not to over stir.
Spoon batter into prepared pan and top with thinly sliced strawberries. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 15 minutes. Run a butterknife around the top edge, then invert onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely. Bread will last 4 days well-wrapped at room temperature, and also freezes well.
Sources: via Joy the Baker, who was inspired by Amateur Gourmet, who was inspired by Molly Wizenberg's A Homemade Life