Monday, March 1, 2010

Whole Grain Banana Bread

Photo and recipe from Whole Grain Gourmet.

Yep, this recipe is DEFINITELY a keeper. I made it on Saturday before company came and we all loved nibbling on it throughout the day -- even the little boys. I made it with chopped pecans and regular semi-sweet chocolate chips. I included my minor modifications below in italics.

1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup packed natural brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup mashed over-ripe bananas (I used four bananas)
1 3/4 cup white whole wheat flour (I used 1 1/2 cup whole wheat + 1/4 cup all-purpose)
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans)
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, preferrably 60% cocoa (I used semi-sweet)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan with butter. (My pan was smaller, so I had to bake it longer.)

Combine flour, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Whisk and set aside. In another large bowl, combine butter, honey, and sugar and beat for two minutes. Add the eggs and lightly beat until just combined. Mix in bananas and vanilla -- do not overmix. Gradually beat in the flour mixture in thirds.

Dilute baking soda in ¼ cup hot (not boiling) water, then beat into batter. Stir in, by hand, the chocolate chips and chopped nuts.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake at 325 for 52 minutes. (Test for doneness being careful not to overbake, as it may dry out the bread).

Remove from pan and place on a wire rack to cool. If you plan to serve this to guests and want clean slices, then allow it to cool for 30 minutes. If you want to enjoy some melt-in-your-mouth, out-of-this-world, warm banana bread, then dig in after 5 minutes.

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