Sunday, July 19, 2009

whole wheat banana bread

Today's original banana bread recipe is another adaptation of my earlier recipe. My kids don't have a lot of time before school in the morning, and banana bread requires little prep and is something they both enjoy. If they're going to eat that much sugar first thing in the morning, I'd like to at least have it be slightly healthier, so I used whole-wheat flour, which I think will be basically indiscernible. I also liked the idea of using yogurt (not creme fraiche, which is certainly not something I ever have on hand), and what could be better than Trader Joe's Vanana yogurt? Come on, say it with flair: VAAAnana! It's vanilla-banana-flavored; two flavors already featured in this recipe! I think mini-chocolate chips would be a great addition here, but it ruins the semi-healthy vibe I was trying to accomplish. Also, I did not use nuts, because the target audience is not a fan.
Before adding the flour, the mixture was a little runnier than usual, but with the flour stirred in, the thickness seemed right. It also tasted just a bit grainy, which I suspect was from the whole wheat flour. (Yes, I taste things with raw egg all the time. Life is no fun without cookie dough.) I tented it around 45 minutes, just as it was starting to get dark on top, because it really needs to bake at least an hour, and up to 75 minutes.

Somewhat-Healthier Whole Wheat Banana Bread
3 1/4 cups (16.25 ounces) white whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 eggs
2 1/3 cups (16 ounces) sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups coarsely mashed very ripe bananas (6 large)
1/4 cup Trader Joe's Vanana yogurt (or banana or vanilla or plain, or sour cream, or creme fraiche, or whatever)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/3 cups walnuts (4 ounces), toasted and chopped (if your kids will eat them)
a handful or two of mini-chocolate chips (optional, if you're not concerned about chocolate in the morning)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 2 (9- by 5- by 3-inch) metal loaf pans with cooking spray with flour (a miracle substance), or grease and flour them the old-fashioned way.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl. (Skip the sifting, but get out any lumps and aerate the mixture just a tad.)
Beat together eggs and sugar in bowl of electric mixer at medium-high speed until very thick and pale and mixture forms a ribbon when beater is lifted, about 10 minutes. (I let it run about 7 minutes.) Reduce speed to low and add oil in a slow stream, mixing, then mix in bananas, yogurt, and vanilla. (For the record, I didn't measure the bananas - I just used three - and it actually looked like more than what was called for. What could be bad?) Remove bowl from mixer and fold in flour mixture and walnuts and/or chocolate chips, if using, gently but thoroughly.
Divide batter between loaf pans, spreading evenly, and bake in middle of oven until golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Tent lightly with foil after about 45 minutes to prevent the bread getting too dark. Mine was already darker than golden brown at that point, but I have faith the insides will be just right.
Cool loaves in pans on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack. Turn loaves right side up and cool completely. If you eat the whole thing in one sitting, it will negate all health benefits of the whole wheat flour, so keep that in mind.


The Food Librarian said...

This looks great. I just made Dorie Greenspan's B Bundt today (for next week's Tuesdays with Dorie entry). I like the addition of whole wheat flour. I've never had that flavor...on the list for my trip to TJ!

Sandra Dee said...

C -

I just printed the page and was going to make this tonight (as I have several ready-to-be-overripe bananas).

And then, I actually READ the recipe. And realized that:

(1) My sad and pathetic fridge/pantry is missing ALL of these ingredients (other than bananas)

(2) I have yet to locate/unpack the majority of the tools needed to execute this recipe

Regardless - I remain undaunted! Off to Target (say it with flair....tarJHAY!!!!) I go.....

I love you dearly :-)