Thursday, July 28, 2011

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Baking with whole wheat flour can be hit or miss because if you're not careful, the finished product can be dry since the flour makes the product denser and coarser.  But this recipe was designed to make a moist loaf (helped along by the bananas) so in the end you have a sweet and nutty banana bread that's slightly healthier than other versions and still tasty. It's definitely a whole wheat bread, so don't try to pass it off as something else, but it's still good.  Just be mindful if you have picky eaters!

When I found Breadtopia and thought this recipe would be a good one to try.  The spices provide the traditional banana bread flavors and the added nuts meld nicely with the whole wheat flour.  I opted to use honey as suggested in the original recipe, but sugar could be substituted.  The honey caused some bubbling during baking and the crisp edges, but the natural sweetness is very nice.  A crumbly streusel topping or even more chopped nuts on top certainly wouldn't hurt this recipe, but the original version is great by itself.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups ripe banana, mashed (about 3 medium bananas)
1/4 cup honey
2 eggs
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

In a stand mixer, beat butter, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla until light and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl as needed. 

Add banana, honey and eggs, beating until smooth.

Swap the beater attachment for the paddle attachment and gradually add the flour, mixing until incorporated.  Add the nuts and mix until combined.

Spoon batter into a greased loaf pan and let rest, uncovered, at room temperature for 10 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 50 minutes.  Lay a piece of aluminum foil across the pan and continue to bake until a tester comes out clean, about 10-15 minutes more.

Remove from oven and cool for 10 minutes.  Remove loaf from pan and cool completely on wire rack.

Makes 1 loaf.

Happy Baking,
The Cookie Princess

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