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. The popular Silver Palate Banana Bread is one of them. 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 extra 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. This banana bread's flavor made up for any lack of moisture.
The Silver Palate Banana Bread also has a pleasant 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.
Silver Palate Banana Bread Recipe Tips
Since posting this I've received some really good tips from people who make this loaf regularly. Check out the comments! One thing a couple of people say is that you can use all-purpose rather than whole wheat. Also, use extremely ripe bananas.
Here are my 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! The book is a classic.
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
- ½ teaspoon salt I recommend ¾ teaspoon
- 1 stick 114 grams unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup 150 grams granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 large ripe bananas mashed by hand (1 ½ cups or 336 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ 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.