Browsing Tag

banana bread

Banana Bread Ultimate

May 18, 2010
I feel a little bad for banana bread sometimes. Sure, it’s delicious beyond measure and versatile, going easily from morning to night. But very rarely does anyone set out to make banana bread. Instead, banana bread has been reduced to an afterthought. Have old bananas on hand that are too old for the lunchbox or morning cereal? Make banana bread.
This recipe might change the way you approach banana bread. You might even find yourself going to the store, in search of bananas on the verge of going to mush, for the sole purpose of making banana bread, because this recipe is pure yumm. Trust me, I did the research this weekend and the feedback was all kinds of positive. 
But this banana bread also has a dirty little secret. It’s made with 100% whole wheat flour. When is she going to shut up about whole wheat flour? You’re probably thinking, but I just can’t seem to find it in me to shut my mouth, because when a recipe finds that happy place where it is soft, moist, delicious, and 100% whole wheat, you know you’ve got something good on your hands and your hips.

Banana Bread Ultimate
Adapted from The Food Network’s Banana Bread Recipe
(Printable Recipe) 
*1 cup sugar
*1 stick unsalted butter, softened
*2 large eggs
*3 ripe bananas, mashed
*2 Tablespoons milk
*1 tsp. vanilla extract
*1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
*2 cups whole wheat flour
*1 teaspoon baking powder
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1 teaspoon salt
*3/4 cup chopped pecans 

*Preheat the oven to 325*F. Butter a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Line the bottom of the loaf pan with a slice of parchment paper to avoid sticking.
*Beat the sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
*In a small bowl, mix together the bananas, milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
*Add the banana mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and stir until combined. Add dry ingredients, mixing just until flour disappears.
*Beat in the chopped pecans by hand.
*Pour batter into pan and bake 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove bread from pan, invert onto rack and cool completely before slicing.

Happy Baking!


Banana Chocolate Chip Mini-Muffins

February 17, 2010

For someone who would rather eat a bowl of broccoli for breakfast than eat a banana, I love banana bread an awful lot. In that sense, there’s something fascinating about bananas. Put them in a smoothie, oatmeal, or bread, and they become something so much more than you would ever guess when eating a banana on its own.

If you have bananas that are a bit too ripe, chances are you’ve made banana bread. Chances are, if you’re anything like me, you’ve also been a little more than disappointed. In the past I’ve made too many recipes that leave me less than enthusiastic. Dry, unevenly cooked, flavorless, you get the idea. Maybe it has something to do with the amount of time, close to an hour, that most banana bread loaves spend in the oven in order to cook all the way through.

I would like to tell you I’ve solved the problems with banana bread loaves, but I haven’t, I was a lazy baker and took the cheap way out, putting this delicious, spiced batter in mini muffin cups, solving the long baking time problem, since the mini-muffins are ready in under 15 minutes.

The result was exactly how I had hoped. A short baking time lets the banana flavor shine through and reduces the risk of burnt chocolate at the bottom of the liners. Chocolate chips were a last-minute addition since I had them on hand, though I can only imagine that butterscotch or peanut butter chips would be nice, too.

*1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
*1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
*1 tsp. ground cinnamon
*1/4 tsp. nutmeg
*1 tsp. coarse sea salt
*2 large ripe bananas, mashed
*1 egg
*1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
*1/4 cup milk
*1 cup milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Muffin liners (mini or regular, if desired)

*Preheat oven to 350*F. Arrange muffin liners on baking sheet. (I didn’t have mini-muffin cup tins, so I just put muffin liners on a baking sheet and it worked just fine)
*Mix dry ingredients together in a large bowl. (flour through sea salt)
*In another bowl, mix together bananas, egg, butter, and milk until well combined.
*Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, stirring with a spoon until just combined. Do not over mix. Stir in chocolate chips.
*Spoon batter into muffin liners, filling with a heaping teaspoon each, about 2/3 of the way full.
*Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until tops are lightly golden and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. If you are using regular sized muffin liners, plan on around 25-30 minutes.
*Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Happy Baking!