Thursday, September 27, 2012

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

I have been tweaking my banana bread recipe for the last year and I think I finally have it just right.  My recipe calls for whole wheat pastry flour.  When baking muffins, quick breads and cookies (ok, I don’t bake cookies) I always recommend reaching for this lighter, less nutty version of whole wheat flour.  You can find it at health food stores like Sprouts, Whole Foods and Mother’s Market here in California.  If you can’t find it, you could probably use half whole wheat and half all purpose flour.  I haven’t tried it, so don’t quote me on that one.  I wanted to “healthify” this bread a little bit by using only half of the normal one stick of butter that a recipe like this would call for.  In place of that butter, I used 2% plain Greek yogurt.  The result is a still rich tasting, moist bread.  I also decided that I definitely didn't want to use regular granulated sugar, but rather a smaller amount of honey to lightly sweeten.  Because I am using about two thirds less sweetener here, you’ll want to make sure you’re bananas are really over ripe.  The more over ripe, the sweeter they are.   The walnuts are definitely optional, but we always like that extra bit of crunch.  Enjoy with your morning coffee and a yogurt or if you’re feeling really decadent, make this loaf into a French toast casserole.

What You Need:

2 c whole wheat pastry flour
¼ c (2oz) unsalted butter, room temp
¼ c (2oz) plain Greek yogurt (I used 2%)
1/3 c (about 3 oz) honey
4 very ripe bananas mashed (about 2 c)
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp kosher salt
½ - 1 tsp cinnamon (to taste – I used 1)
1-2 tsp vanilla extract (to taste – I used 2)

1 c walnuts, chopped (optional)

What To Do:

 Preheat oven to 350° and spray the inside of a 10” loaf pan.

Combine all dry ingredients in a medium bowl and mix well.  Set aside.

Cream butter, yogurt and honey together.  Once combined, add eggs and mashed banana.  Stir until just combined.

Adding ½ of the dry ingredients stir until just mixed and then add remaining, making sure the scrape the sides.  Stir until just incorporated.

Fold in nuts is using.

Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top has browned.  I like to under bake slightly as it cooks just a bit more as it cools in the hot pan and we like the top/ middle to be ever so slightly under done.

Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack before wrapping in a double layer of foil.

Makes 1 loaf – 16 slices - Print this recipe !

Nutritional Stats with Nuts for 1 Slice

Bon Appétit!


Biz said...

That looks delicious Mary! And the stats are really good too!

Enjoy your weekend!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Biz: Thank you! It's definitely a fine balance between tasting good and having good nutritional stats, but I think this recipe is a good balance of both worlds.

Pam said...

I love that you used whole wheat... it looks terrific Mary.

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Pam: Thank you :0)

Christina said...

Thanks so much for the recipe. I'm waiting for two breads right this minute, I added some 85% chocolate to one loaf, and the other I spiced up with fresh kale, spinach, jalapenos and salted pumpkin seeds. Fingers crossed they turn out good! Sure smells like it. Thanks again!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Christina: Oh good ! Let me know how your modifications turn out. I have been known to throw some chocolate chips in, but have never thought to add greens/ savory ingredients.