My husband mildly hates bananas, but really, really hates coffee, so he can’t complain that I am trying to make him fat with this bread. I’m using my favorite banana bread recipe, making adjustments for the coffee. [Pause while I do the math.]
Turns out I didn’t need the math. I just added one teaspoon of instant espresso powder and 2 tablespoons of prepared espresso from my single-serve coffee machine, and waited to see how the batter looked. It looked a little too wet, so I threw in about 2-4 tablespoons more flour (without measuring) to get the thick batter that I like for a nut bread.
The bread smelled wonderfully toasty as it baked, not really like coffee, but smoky, I’d say. Since I’m the only one eating it, I’m doing what I prefer to do with nut bread—wrapping it tight and waiting until tomorrow to cut it. See you then.
I’m back and really surprised by this nut bread. I waited the overnight before cutting it, because nut bread flavors develop over time, probably because of the nuts and fruit, if using fruit. I thought, because of the baking smells that the espresso might predominate, but I don’t taste it at all in the finished bread. What I do taste is a heightened banana flavor. We all know that coffee heightens chocolate flavors in baked goods, but I didn’t think that it might do that with other flavors. This calls for more experimentation, right after I eat another piece of this bread with a big schmear of butter.
Espresso Banana Walnut Bread
Preheat oven to 350°; grease and flour one large or two small bread pans.
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 ripe bananas—mine were average sized bananas
2 tablespoons prepared espresso, slightly cooled
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2-1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Break up bananas into pieces and beat into butter/sugar mixture until the bananas are pretty much mashed into the batter.
- Beat in eggs.
- Add the espressos and vanilla, beating on low until combined.
- Beat in dry ingredients, adding a little more flour if you think the batter is too thin. I added between 2-4 tablespoons more flour to compensate for the extra liquid of the prepared espresso. A nut bread batter, like a muffin batter, should be thick.
- Stir in walnuts until well distributed.
- Pour batter into prepared pan or pans and bake for 45-50 minutes. I used the single large loaf pan and needed about 1 hour for it to be done in the center, but watch the edges for too much browning. I can’t stand a burnt crust on nut bread. I’d rather the center finished cooking on the counter than have a burnt crust.
Cool the bread in the baking pan on a rack for at least a half hour, before turning out to continue cooling. Wrap tightly in foil overnight before slicing.
Question: Can you eat a coffee bread with a cup of tea?