Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Whole Wheat Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

I previously posted a recipe for gluten free banana oat bread for those of you who are gluten intolerant. Even though it did not contain flour or added fat, it was a pretty good stand-in for the real thing. I really enjoyed having a slice, or two for breakfast or as a mid-morning snack, especially knowing that it was actually good for me. Now, this is a more decadent version with butter, flour, sugar, and chocolate chips! The original recipe for this delicious treat comes from "The Cook's Illustrated How-To-Cook Library", a book I can highly recommend. If you're a passionate self taught cook and baker like me, this cook book will become your bible. No pictures, but the best techniques for your basic cooking repertoire. All recipes have been kitchen tested and as they say in the introduction of the book, "don't have to be second-guessed". This is the kind of book I like to read in bed before I go to sleep. I'll take it over a bestselling novel anytime.

I did modify the recipe just a bit and replaced half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat flour and added 1 cup of chocolate chips instead of walnuts. The success of your end product depends on how gently you incorporate the wet and the dry ingredients. Over-mixing will result in a smaller loaf that will be tough and dense. Fold ingredients together until just barely combined and moistened and you'll end up with a wonderfully delicate texture and crumb. This may very well become your go-to recipe when you want to treat someone with something homemade. Wrapped nicely, this whole wheat banana bread makes a thoughtful gift not just on holidays, but throughout the year.

Ingredients for Whole Wheat Banana Bread
Cooking spray or unsalted butter for greasing the loaf pan
1 cup all-purpose four
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe, soft bananas, mashed well (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled 
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl whisk together whole wheat flour, all purpose flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. 
Gently fold banana mixture into dry ingredients until just combined and batter looks thick and chunky. Fold in chocolate chips and scrape batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake for about 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and tun out onto a wire rack.
Cooled bread can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for couple of days.


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