After years of hearing about it, I finally bought a copy of The Silver Palate Cookbook. I’m in love! I’ve bookmarked more than a few recipes, and so far I’ve made two including the popular Silver Palate Banana Bread. Here’s my very late-to-the-party review of this banana bread recipe.
On paper, what distinguishes The Silver Palate recipe is that it calls for 1 cup all-purpose flour and 1 cup whole wheat. It also has slightly less sugar than most banana breads and doesn’t call for any liquid. And finally, this is a banana bread made with butter rather than oil. I was a little concerned about that at first because oil-based banana breads usually seem a little less dry, but this banana bread’s flavor made up for any lack of moisture. The Silver Palate Banana Bread also has a nice contrast between crust and crumb – especially if you bake it in a glass loaf pan. It’s dark, flavorful,has a nice shape to it and feels more appropriate for breakfast since it is lower in sugar. I also think the slightly less moist texture makes it better for topping with a little butter, if you like butter on banana bread.
The recipe is easy, but I have a couple of tips. First, if you don’t weigh your flour then measure it by spooning it into cup using a light hand. Also, it’s really important to stir the dry ingredients together before adding them to the batter because the batter is very thick. Before adding the bananas, it’s almost as soft as cookie dough. If the dry ingredients aren’t mixed thoroughly you might have some swirls of grey where the baking soda wasn’t evenly distributed. I’d end this with “I hope you try it” or something like that, but this is a recipe I feel like everyone has made except me!
If you have a favorite Silver Palate recipe, please share!
Silver Palate Banana Bread
- 1 cup 130 grams unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour 139 grams, stir and aerate before measuring
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt I recommend 3/4 teaspoon
- 1 stick 114 grams unsalted butter, softened
- 3/4 cup 150 grams granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 large ripe bananas mashed by hand (1 1/2 cups or 336 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
- Whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda and salt. This step is important, so be sure to whisk or stir very, very, well to make sure baking soda is evenly distributed.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.
- Add flour mixture to butter mixture, stirring until blended.
- Fold in the bananas, vanilla and walnuts, then transfer to the pan.
- Bake 50-60 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. If using a glass loaf pan the bread may take up to 75 minutes.
Thanks for sharing your story. Now I really want to try bananas in the Dominican Republic.
The Silver Palate banana bread recipe has been my go to recipe for years! When I’m baking, I like simple, no fuss recipes that work and this one works. The trick to good banana bread, as most will tell you, is to use RIPE bananas. Not just brown-speckled, but mostly brown but not to the rotten stage, but definitely to that “eewww, I’m not going to eat that one” stage. I rarely have three like that at any one time so I peel the one or two I have and store in the freezer in a glass container with a tight sealed lid.
Years ago I was on vacation in the Dominican Republic for a few weeks. I bought some local and ripe bananas that became RIPE within a couple of days. That was the best banana bread! The flavor and sugar content was like you never ever have with bananas that are picked green, put in a shipping container, gassed to control mother nature, shipped on the seas, trucked to a warehouse and trucked to a store to “ripen” in the produce section. I made five loaves on that trip including a loaf that flew back with me!
Anyway, was just browsing the site, saw this and thought I’d drop a comment.
April, thanks for sharing the variation. I think those extra bananas you add probably make it even better. This bread is not overly moist with 3 (though it’s still good), so I’ll bet it can handle more bananas.
Has anyone tried Mark Bittman’s recipe? He has a similar one.
This is my regular banana bread recipe and I always come back to it. I use white whole wheat flour, 5 ripe bananas instead of 3, and a teaspoon of mace. I leave out the walnuts.
The peanut butter bites were a little too sweet for me too but my family loved them! I made them a couple of times and then tried different variations.
It really is a great cookbook and I’ve enjoyed having it on my counter…I’ve already chosen some recipes I’d love to make
I’m pretty sure I’ve made the pecan squares too and that we liked them but I didn’t make a note.
Sonya, I am sad to say I found them WAY too sweet. I didn’t even bother adding the chocolate topping because the base was so sweet. I actually scraped the base mixture into a bowl, added eggs, sugar and flour and turned it into normal peanut butter cookies.
Also, is this the CI recipe you are referring to? The one where you microwave the bananas, squeeze out the banana juice and then boil it until it is reduced to 1/4 cup? This recipe cracks me up because it is so typically CI, but I’ll bet it’s good. One of these days I’ll try it and regret waiting to long to make reduced banana juice.
Betsy, I’m going to try those! The recipe reminds me of one I already have with honey and loads of butter.
So fun!!! The brown sugar peanut butter bites sound great! This banana bread reminds me a little of the one from KAF Whole Grain Baking with the butter, but they use all whole wheat flour (and cinnamon, nutmeg, and other differences). It was my favorite banana bread for a while, but currently that is held by Cook’s Illustrated’s Ultimate Banana Bread. You probably have the best recipes for banana bread as you’ve done much more comparing than I have!
I’ve heard so many great things about this cookbook too. Happy cooking and baking!
Make the Pecan Squares, they are delicious!
Angie, thanks for the recommendation! I almost made the brownies this week but ended up going with a similar version that calls for a little baking powder. I may try the Peanut Butter Bites today.
I hope you like the bread.
I have had this cookbook for years!
I just looked for it on my bookshelf because I’ve forgotten how wonderful it is!
The brownies, carrot cake, the sour cream coffee cake, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate peanut bites and orange cake are wonderful!
I’ve also made the lemon chicken, quiche and chicken Marbella…all delicious!
Thanks for reminding me to utilize this cookbook! I’m going to keep it on my counter for awhile till I choose some new recipes to make. Hey! I’m going to try the banana bread recipe, I like that I may be able to toast it and spread a little butter on it
Sue, I hope you like it! The other things I want to try are Lemon Chicken, Orange Cake, Butterballs, Chocolate Peanut Butter Bites (like Buckeyes, but with brown sugar), their basic quiche custard.
IIve already used their Pate Brisee for a couple of pie crusts.
I ran to the kitchen to grab my copy to see if I’ve made it and I havent! It sounds like it might be great toasted! What else do you have bookmarked? I like the pecan pie from there and the carrot cake. The sour cream coffee cake is good as are the chocolate chip cookies and oatmeal raisin cookies. I haven’t used this cookbook in a long time but it’s a good one.