Soft ricotta banana bread
I love the way the ricotta adds a richness without being overpowering. The banana flavor still rings true and prominent but the cheese adds a tenderness and delicate soft texture that makes this bread extra special. This is the bread for brown bananas. The riper they are the more banana flavor there will be. If I have some bananas that are too ripe to eat on the counter I will peel them and slice them then lay the slices in a single layer on a large plate or tray and freeze them. Once frozen, they can be scooped up and placed in a Ziplock until you are ready to bake bread. I always write how many bananas are in the bag on the outside because you know I won't remember.
One last thing, the bread is best with whole milk ricotta. If all you can find is low-fat or part-skim that'll work but the flavor won't be as rich. Also, I lined the loaf pan with waxed paper which makes it a snap to pull out of the pan (you can also use parchment paper, I just didn't have any) but sliding a knife around the outside and popping it out of an un-lined pan works well too.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Heat oven to 350°F and arrange a rack on the bottom. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
- Pour melted butter into a large bowl. Add bananas and mash into a pulp. Add egg and beat until smooth. Add sugar, ricotta, and vanilla and stir to incorporate.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir just until all flour is incorporated, don't overmix. Scrape batter into prepared pan and place on the bottom rack of the oven.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55-65 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and let sit at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan.