Thursday, February 18, 2010

Grown Ups Chocolate Chip Banana Walnut Bread

Grown Ups Chocolate Chip Banana Walnut Bread

Williams Sonoma has a wonderful recipe for banana bread

I adapted it for my family as we like to add whole wheat goodness and subtract sugar where we can.  I've found that if you have VERY RIPE bananas (I put older ones in my freezer and they sweeten up nicely) you don't need to add sugar to the recipe.  I will sprinkle a little white or brown sugar, sometimes with cinnamon, sometimes not, to the bottom of the bread pan and this will satisfy my need for a little sugar taste if I fell like it.  But as for the batter you don't need the sugar in this recipe.  What you should do when using freshly ground whole wheat flour (which is wheat berries run through a mill - I use my mill attachment on my Kitchenaid) is to add the wet ingredients to the whole wheat flour for a bit of a soak - 15 minutes is fine.  Then it mixes up better IMO. 

Here's the recipe with my adaptations:


1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 medium very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup chocolate chips (optional)
1/3 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Rum glaze:
1/4 cup rum (or 1/2 teaspoon rum extract and 1/4 cup water if non-alcoholic is preferred)
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon brown sugar


Preheat an oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch metal loaf pan with butter.  If using walnuts, toast in a dry pan and let cool.

In a bowl soak the whole wheat flour in the buttermilk.  Then, with a wooden spoon, stir together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.

In a large bowl, smash the bananas with a fork. Add the oil, eggs and vanilla and beat with the wooden spoon until well blended.

Add the flour mixtures to the banana mixture and stir just until blended.  Fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with the wooden spoon. Put the pan in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it, about 45 minutes.
Using oven mitts, remove the pan from the oven, set it on a wire cooling rack and let cool for 20 minutes.
Gently run a table knife along the inside edge of the pan to loosen the bread from the sides.

Using oven mitts, turn the pan on its side and slip the loaf out onto the wire rack. Let the loaf cool for 15 minutes before serving. Brush warm glaze over the top.  Makes 1 loaf.

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