Especially after I had to go to several different stores to try to find blasted 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Can I just get off on rant here? Why in the hell does the world need 9 1/4-by-5 1/4 and 8 1/4-by-5 1/4 and 9 1/4-by-4 1/4 and for god's sake a 10-by-5??? And after going to Sur La Table and Bed, Bath, and Beyond to not find the dang 9-by-5 was infinitely frustrating. I finally found it at Target... thank goodness, because I was about to think that size was a mythical creature.
So, I made the Banana-Chocolate Bread -- the only difference in the recipe is a reduction in sugar and the addition of grated bittersweet chocolate. The result was a less-sweet, and ultimately less satisfying bread. And the chocolate just didn't come through. I really expected a much more chocolate-y bread. I guess that's why it's not called "Chocolate-Banana Bread." I would not make this one again.
And someone please tell me how to grate chocolate without making such a freakin' mess... I used the trusty four-sided box grater and had little shavings of chocolate everywhere, which melted on contact. Mess, mess, mess.
But the loaf pan was fantastic! I finally have the correct shape loaf. But, should the top be all split like that? Is that the hallmark of a good quick bread or a sign of something wrong?
Adapted from Baking Illustrated
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 1/4 cups walnuts, chopped coarse
10 tablespoons sugar
2.5 ounces grated bittersweet chocolate
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe, soft, darkly-speckled bananas, mashed well
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, beaten lightly
3/4 stick butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out the excess.
Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Whisk the flour, sugar, chocolate, baking soda, salt, and walnuts together in a large bowl; set aside.
Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)