Since I have not been feeling well the last few days, I have not been working outside and have been holed up in the house checking out recipes. I did a post about a Better Homes and Garden Special publication called Baking Secrets where I shared some neat recipes and tips. I highly recommend picking it up if you get a chance as there is so much in there I have found useful. Today, as I was looking over their recipes, I noticed this publication has a nice Banana Bread recipe I want to try.
I am on a banana kick. I love dehydrating them and snacking on them during the day at work. They satisfy my craving for something sweet and are a much healthier choice than a candy bar. I like to get the ripe ones they put on sale and immediately get them in the dehydrator. Otherwise, I get them still a bit green then get them dehydrating once they ripen. But after checking out this recipe, I now want to get some of this bread to enjoy and share with friends.
The secret for this recipe is roasting the bananas. Roasting causes the natural sugars in the fruit to melt into a caramely syrup, adding a rich flavor to traditional banana bread. Another great tip is to only grease up the side 1/2 inch. This will produce a uniform loaf with a slightly rounded top. If you grease all the way up the sides of the pan the loaf will have a flat top. I may have to keep this in mind when baking other breads.
You also want to make sure you mix this correctly. Dry and wet ingredients go in separate bowls. Then the egg mixture is added to the dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir just until the flour is moistened. The batter should be thick and lumpy. Over mixing causes the gluten in the flour to develop, trapping leavening in pockets. The result is a heavy and uneven loaf with tunnels.
- 5 bananas (unpeeled)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil or melted butter
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 recipe Streusel-Nut Topping (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 15 x 10 x 1-inch baking pan with foil. Arrange bananas in the pan. Prick banana skins with the tines of a fork at 1 inch intervals. Bake for 15 minutes. (The banana peels will turn dark brown.) Cool bananas on baking pan. Grease bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of one 9x5x3-inch or two 7 1/2×3 1/2×2-inch loaf pans. Set pan(s) aside.
- In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg, and ginger. Using the back of a spoon, make a well in the center of the flour mixture; set aside.
- In a medium bowl stir together eggs, sugar, and oil; set aside. Use a small sharp knife to split the banana peels. Measure 1 1/2 cups of the roasted bananas (gently press the roasted bananas into measuring cups). Stir into egg mixture. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in walnuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). If desired, sprinkle Streusel-Nut Topping over batter.
- Bake for 55 to 60 minutes for the 9 x 5 x 3-inch pan or 45 to 55 minutes for the 7 1/2 x 3 1/2 x 2-inch pans or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center(s) comes out clean. (When you remove the pick, a few crumbs may be clinging to it, but there should not be any unbaked batter on the pick.) If necessary to prevent over browning, cover loosely with foil for the last 15 minutes of baking. (If using one large pan, check the brownness of the top after 40 minutes of baking. If using two smaller pans, check after 30 minutes baking. If the top(s) is quite brown, cover each pan with foil using a piece of foil large enough to completely cover the top; using hot pads to protect your hands, carefully press the foil lightly against the pan’s edges.) Cool in pan(s) on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan(s). Cool completely on rack. Wrap and store overnight before slicing. (The quick bread’s texture will be more evenly moist and less crumbly after standing.)
Variety, the Spice of Life
Want something a little different or want to add a little interest to the basic bread recipe.. try these variations:
BLUEBERRY-COCONUT BANANA BREAD:
Prepare Banana Bread as directed, except toss 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries with 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour; fold into the batter with the walnuts. Sprinkle an additional 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries on top of batter in pan(s). If using the topping, add 1/4 cup flaked coconut to the topping.
Nutrition Facts per 1 slice: 226 calories, 3 g protein, 35 g carbohydrate, 9 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 23 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 17 g total sugar, 1% Vitamin A, 6% Vitamin C, 120 mg sodium, 4% calcium, 6% iron
DARK CHOCOLATE-RASPBERRY BANANA BREAD:
Prepare Banana Bread as directed, except stir 1/2 cup dark chocolate pieces into the batter with the walnuts. After spooning batter into pan, use the tip of a spoon to swirl in 1/4 cup raspberry preserves. After bread stands overnight, in a small microwave-safe bowl combine 1/3 cup dark chocolate pieces and 1/2 teaspoon shortening. Microwave, uncovered, on 70 percent power for 20 seconds; stir. Microwave at the same power until melted and smooth, stirring every 15 seconds. Drizzle over bread. Place 1/4 cup raspberry preserves in another small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 20 to 30 seconds or until melted, snipping any large pieces of fruit. Drizzle melted preserves over the top of the bread.
Nutrition Facts per 1 slice: 293 calories, 4 g protein, 45 g carbohydrate, 12 g total fat (3 g sat. fat), 23 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 25 g total sugar, 1% Vitamin A, 7% Vitamin C, 123 mg sodium, 5% calcium, 10% iron
MANGO-GINGER BANANA BREAD:
Use the 9x5x3-inch loaf pan for this variation. Prepare Banana Bread as directed, except omit cinnamon and nutmeg, increase ginger to 1 teaspoon, and substitute 1/4 cup snipped dates for the chopped walnuts. Toss 1/2 cup chopped fresh mango with 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour; fold into the batter with the dates. If using the topping, omit walnuts and add 1/4 cup chopped pistachios and 1 tablespoon chopped crystallized ginger. Bake about 70 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean.
Nutrition Facts per 1 slice: 221 calories, 3 g protein, 36 g carbohydrate, 8 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 23 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 20 g total sugar, 2% Vitamin A, 8% Vitamin C, 120 mg sodium, 4% calcium, 6% iron
PB&J BANANA BREAD:
Use the 9x5x3-inch loaf pan for this variation. Prepare Banana Bread as directed, except add 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter with the bananas and substitute 1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts for the chopped walnuts. After spooning batter into pan, use the tip of a spoon to swirl in 1/4 cup strawberry preserves. If using the topping, omit walnuts and add 1/4 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts. Bake about 70 minutes or until wooden pick inserted near the center comes out clean. After bread stands overnight, place 2 tablespoons strawberry preserves in a small microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on 100 percent power (high) for 15 to 20 seconds or until melted, snipping any large pieces of fruit. Drizzle melted preserves over the top of the bread.
Nutrition Facts per 1 slice: 259 calories, 4 g protein, 38 g carbohydrate, 11 g total fat (2 g sat. fat), 23 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 20 g total sugar, 1% Vitamin A, 6% Vitamin C, 140 mg sodium, 4% calcium, 6% iron
- In a small bowl combine brown sugar and flour. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in walnuts.
Nutrition Facts (Best Banana Bread)
Per serving: 220 kcal cal., 9 g fat (1 g sat. fat, 6 g polyunsaturated fat, 2 g monounsatured fat), 23 mg chol., 119 mg sodium, 33 g carb., 2 gfiber, 17 g sugar, 3 g pro. Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet