Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Banana bread, one recipe, altered for three different flavors.


I love banana bread.  Love love love love love it.  I could eat this every day.  I could make bread pudding with it, french toast, panini’s, everything and anything. 

Base Recipe:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups walnuts, chopped coarse (optional)
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 salt
4 very ripe bananas, mashed well
1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt, fat free
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350°F degrees. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with Pam.

2. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

3. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and walnuts together in a large bowl; set aside.

4. Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.

5. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 60 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)



For a slightly healthier version, substitute the all purpose flour for whole wheat flour.  You can also use a white whole wheat flour.   It is a 100% whole wheat flour that’s lighter colored, milder tasting, and a somewhat finer grind than standard red whole wheat flour.

White whole wheat (milled from white, rather than red wheat berries) is WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, not a white flour, but it has all the fiber and nutrition of traditional whole wheat, but acts much more like white flour in baking. You just have to remember with whole wheat flours, there is a higher liquid to flour ratio.  If you are using a whole wheat flour, you will need to increase the liquid. 

I say slightly healthier b/c in all honesty, I wouldn’t substitute the butter for canola oil.  The butter adds a beautifully delicious depth to the flavor.  The richness of the butter is not something you want to leave out of this one. 

You can do it though.  You can also substitute the sugar for honey.  I did that for one of the breads I made.  I called that one Elvis bread.  ;)

For the Elvis bread, I used whole wheat flour instead of white flour.  I added a 1/2 cup peanut butter, which isn’t exactly an additional liquid, but it was an addition that helped the moisture in the end result.  I also used a full stick melted butter and substituted honey for the sugar .  I used the same amount of honey as the sugar, 3/4 cup. 

Elvis bread:

2 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 cup organic honey

3/4 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

4 large very ripe mashed bananas

1/4 cup vanilla Greek yogurt

2 large eggs, beaten lightly

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1 stick melted butter, cooled

1 tsp vanilla extract

Sad, but I forgot to take pictures of this bread before it was devoured.  I actually wish I added more honey, or maybe even used a honey roasted peanut butter., like Skippy’s honey roasted, Jason’s all natural honey peanut butter or Peanut Butter & Co. Bee’s Knees peanut butter.  Any of the above would have been a good addition. 

This bread is especially good for a peanut butter and honey panini… 

The final bread I made this night is was a peanut butter and chocolate chip bread.  For this recipe, I used the above, but instead of honey, I used light brown sugar and added a 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips.  That was yummy bread.  But then, isn’t anything with chocolate yummy??



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