There are about 320 million search results on Google for banana bread, so I realize this isn't the most unique recipe out there. And I also realize there are only so many variations someone can make on the same old thing. But I love the combination of browned butter, ripe bananas and spelt flour, so I decided to throw together my own "house" banana bread. I've tweaked and refined this recipe for several months, hoarding bunches of bananas so I have no shortage of super ripe fruit to pull from. The result is a moist, rich, flavorful banana bread. It may sound weird and health-foodish to use spelt flour, but I love the light, wheaty texture it adds to the bread.
There’s also a nuttiness to spelt flour that gets amplified by the browned butter and rounded out with the warm flavors of brown sugar and extra ripe bananas. Be warned-- this is a decadent banana bread.
And sometimes, to ramp it up even more, I fold in a cup of bittersweet chocolate chips just before transferring the batter to a loaf pan. The melt in your mouth texture, big chunks of bitter chocolate, and rich browned butter elevate this banana bread from your every day breakfast to an indulgent treat.
notes on brown butter spelt banana bread:
if you use large bananas, the batter may just barely fit into an 8”x4” loaf pan. Use your best judgment and if it feels like too much, use a 9”x5” or throw the extra batter in a muffin pan.
consider mixing 1 cup of bittersweet chocolate chips into the batter just before pouring it into the pan.
brown butter spelt banana bread
makes one 8 inch x 4 inch loaf
6 tbsp salted butter (about ⅓ cup when browned)
3- 4 ripe bananas, plus 1 not so ripe for decorating (optional)
½ tsp kosher salt
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 4 inch x 8 inch loaf pan and line with a parchment paper sling (8 inches x 16 inches) with 2 inches of overhang on each long edge, then set aside.
Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. When the butter begins to foam and bubble, stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to encourage evaporation and help the solids brown evenly. Continue stirring until the butter smells nutty and the solids turn a rich golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, set aside to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, mash bananas with the back of a fork until a chunky paste forms. Mix in salt and brown sugar, making sure all the clumps of sugar are dissolved.
Stir cooled browned butter into banana mixture, followed by the egg and vanilla. Sprinkle baking soda over mixture and stir again to combine. Mix in spelt flour until mostly combined, then pour batter into prepared pan. Carefully slice the firm banana lengthwise, remove the peel and lay on top of the batter as a decoration.
Bake 50- 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into loaf comes out clean. Cool 5-10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a rack. Slice and enjoy.
Store spelt banana bread in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Bread can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and frozen for up to a month.
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