Take Banana Bread To New Heights With Brown Butter

Banana bread is one of those recipes that are so simple to make, there are dozens of ways you can put your own spin on it. You can choose to add chocolate or no chocolate, experiment with different kinds of nuts in the mix, or even try using brown butter in place of your normal softened butter. Brown butter refers to butter that has been melted down once melted the milk fats begin to caramelize, giving the butter a beautiful nutty, warm flavor and its signature brown color.

Brown butter is the star of Tasting Table recipe developer Jessica Morone's brown butter banana bread recipe, where she claims that by browning the butter, which is a French cooking technique, you get a "deeper, nuttier flavor." All you have to do is melt your butter in a saucepan over low heat till you see it's developed the correct color, a slightly nutty aroma, and that it no longer is making a sizzling noise. In all, it should take around five to eight minutes to properly brown your butter.

Other tips for working with brown butter

Morone recommends using a lighter-colored saucepan when browning your butter so you can properly assess the color. If your pan bottom is too dark, you may be accidentally burning your butter and not even realize it. It's also important to keep moving your butter around occasionally as it cooks down. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon works best for this because it allows you to scrape the butter from all the edges. This helps with the heat distribution and ensures you evenly brown your butter.

Another way to evenly brown your butter is to cut it into even slices before melting. Not only does this cut down on your overall cooking time, but it allows all sides of the butter to get toasted at a consistent rate. It's recommended to work on a lower heat because it gives you an easier time monitoring the product. Brown butter can become burnt butter in a second, so it's crucial to keep a close eye on it. As your butter cooks you may notice brown bits sinking to the bottom of your pan, don't worry this is not burnt butter. This is the milk solids that have cooked down and begun to caramelize. These milk solids hold intense flavor and should absolutely be used in your cooking unless otherwise indicated.