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Cooking With Beer: Banana Beer Nut Bread, featuring MAYDAY Belgian Pale Ale

Besides beer, one of the things I enjoy most in life is cooking for my family. When I met my wife, she was a prodigious home baker, and she has graced me with her baked goods ever since. This recipe is adapted from a staple in our household: Banana Nut Bread. Whenever a banana even considers going beyond a few black spots, the Banana Bread Signal goes up in our house, and the resulting loaf is sweet and moist, and a perfect Sunday morning treat. Serve it warm with butter and, if you're feeling it, honey drizzled over top.

MAYDAY Belgian Pale Ale brings something very unique to this recipe. Its fruit and spice character adds a subtle depth to the bread, and its use in the glaze highlights its citrus notes. 

 

INGREDIENTS

For the loaf

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperture
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 over-ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 3 eggs, beaten just to mixed
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) MAYDAY Belgian Pale Ale
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg (fresh, if you can swing it)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/3 of a cup of chopped walnuts

For the glaze

STEPS

1. Preheat oven to 375° F, and prep a 9x5" loaf pan by coating the interior with spray oil or butter.

2. Spread walnuts on a baking sheet and toast in the oven until just fragrant, about 5 minutes

3. Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, whip the butter and sugar, starting at a low speed and moving to medium, until they form a grainy cream. Scrape down sides of the bowl.

4. Add mashed bananas, eggs and MAYDAY Belgian Pale Ale to bowl and beat until combined. 

5. Add approximately half of the flour to the bowl and beat until just combined. Add remaining flour, walnuts, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg and salt to bowl and beat until just combined. At this point, the batter should be glossy and slightly lumpy.

6. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and tap gently on the countertop to settle the batter. Ensure the loaf pan is not overfilled, as the loaf will rise notably during baking.

7. Bake for 45 minutes, rotating once during baking. Bake until a toothpick or tester, inserted into the centre of the loaf, comes back clean. 

8. Place the pan on a wire rack to cool to the touch; this can take an hour or more. 

9. Once the loaf has cooled, prepare the glaze by beating together all glaze ingredients until it thickens. (Don't do this too far ahead of time or the glaze will harden and you'll have to beat it again. It only takes a minute to do, so you don't lose any time by waiting until the loaf is totally cool.)

10. Run a knife gently around the edges of the loaf in the pan to release, then invert the pan and tap gently to remove the loaf. 

11. Place a sheet pan or parchment paper beneath the cooling rack; pour glaze across entire top of loaf. Leave to set, approximately 30 minutes. (Like Step 9, don't rush this and do it before the loaf cools entirely, or your glaze will just run right off the warm loaf. Patience pays delicious dividends.)

The finished loaf will keep for a couple of days if kept wrapped or covered. 

Recipe adapted from "Banana Nut Bread," from The Williams Sonoma Baking Book. 

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