Monday, February 9, 2009

Easy Whole Wheat Banana Bread

If one more frozen black banana falls out of my freezer and onto my husband's foot, it might be grounds for major marital discord. It's homemade banana bread to the rescue.

Not only have I been trying to use up some ripe bananas, I've also been experimenting with whole wheat. I have this new favorite cookbook, King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking: Delicious Recipes Using Nutritious Whole Grains. I have rechecked it out twice from our local library and, quite frankly, I don't want to return it. Anyway, it inspired me to try my hand at more whole grain baking, so I've adapted a friend's banana bread recipe using fresh ground whole wheat flour in place of the white flour and gelatin as a substitute for the eggs. Now, my friend sent the following directions with a list of the recipe ingredients:

"Bake 350 for an hour (until it is pretty brown on top). I bake it in a glass loaf pan and if it's not pretty brown on top, the inside is gooey which with banana bread isn't a good thing. I add (dark) chocolate chips and nuts for extra numminess!"

Since there were no directions about how to mix the ingredients, I just dumped everything into my mixing bowl and let 'er rip. That's how I came up with the name....

Easy Whole Wheat Banana Bread
(yield two loaves)

6 very ripe bananas
1 cup butter
4 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 "eggs"** (or 4 eggs)
2 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1-2 cups of mix-ins (such as nuts or chocolate chips)

**NOTE: I dissolved 4 tsp of gelatin into 12 TB of water--I did not add additional boiling water to the "egg" recipe substitution because I thought it would make the batter too runny.

Add all of the ingredients to the bowl and mix on medium speed until blended. Divide the batter evenly among two greased loaf pans and bake at 350 for about an hour (give or take). You may wish to tent the bread with a piece of foil if the loaves begin to brown too fast.

These loaves were rising nicely in the oven but fell after sitting on the counter for several minutes. However, they were tasty and made from whole grains! A perfect after-school or between meals snack.