Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Banana Bread

My first quick bread on the blog! I've stayed away from them because I'm trying to learn more about yeast breads, but this banana bread holds a special place in my heart and stomach. It is the most versatile, fail-proof, delicious banana bread I have ever made. And I make it quite often. You wouldn't know it from the taste, but it's pretty healthy too.
I typically sub in half whole wheat flour and half all purpose. I add 4 bananas or 5 if they are small, about 2 cups. It can take the extra bananas, and they help keep it moist if you happen to have extra on hand. If not, it works fine with the 3 bananas the recipe calls for. I've subbed cottage cheese and milk for the yogurt and had success. I've added flax seeds and walnuts. I didn't this time, but I often add a cup of chocolate chips because chocolate has good antioxidants and mood enhancing powers. Or at least I tell myself that, because I love anything with chocolate ;) If I'm adding the chocolate or using vanilla yogurt vs plain, I'll cut the sugar down to 3/4 cup. I've done it will all whole wheat flour, but its a bit denser that I like. I've found you can play around with the recipe alot and still have great success.
If you have alot of extra bananas, the recipe doubles easily. When I double it, I make a loaf and a dozen muffins. They cook in about 25 min if I remember correctly. I just test them with a toothpick. Then, I freeze the muffins and pull them out when needed for breakfast. The bread never seems to last that long...

The recipe follows the pattern of your standard quick bread.

Mix the dry ingredients.

Cream the butter and the sugar.

Add in the eggs.

Mash up your super ripe bananas. Mine are frozen and defrosted.
I peel bananas when they reach peak ripeness (black skin) and put them in a
ziplock in the freezer. Once I get 4 or 5 in the bag, I'll make the bread.

Stir in bananas, yogurt, and vanilla. Fold in the flour mixture.

Bake for 1 hr in a loaf pan, then hide it from anyone who might steal this deliciousness.

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