Monday, November 29, 2010

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

I can't tell you how many metric tons of Bananas I've thrown out over the years. I buy a bunch, with best intentions, eat a few when I get home, watch over the course of a few days as they get spotty, and then one day, I notice that they're too soft to eat, and the fruit flies have noticed. The irony inherent in this is, the bananas are almost ready to be made into banana bread at this point... and I've been throwing them away. They're black gold! (ew)

I've been saving over-ripe bananas in the freezer. It's really the best place for it. Right before they're pretty much gone, I freeze them. We came home from the grocery store last night, and I ran out of room in the freezer. So today, I decided, was banana bread day. I pulled the bananas out... and woke up to a puddle of slime on the counter, under some truly black and gnarly ugliness. One of the bananas was so soft inside, the peel had kinked a bit under its own weight, and started to ooze all over the top of the kitchen island. Not exactly what I'd call appetizing. And far beyond what I'd ever considered keeping.

This is a picture of the bowl with most of the ingredients. Note the presence of a buttery yellow. This is the color of the bananas. Kinda gross, right?

This recipe is adapted from the King Arthur Whole Grain Baking cookbook:

The ingredient list:

-3-4 way over-ripe bananas
-1/2 stick of butter
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1 tsp vanilla extract
-1/2 tsp salt
-1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
-1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
-2 eggs
-3/4 tsp baking soda
-1/4 cup honey
-2 Cup whole wheat flour

The recipe calls for 1/2 cup of walnuts. But I hate walnuts. And the last time I had this bread, it was made by my then-roommate with chocolate chips and craisins. (Seth is clearly a genius) Good enough for me... so I added a fistful of each, as well as a little bit of black strap molasses. (yum)

The recipe calls for a 5x9 loaf pan. I used 2, 5x7 casserole dishes.  Whatever your vessel of choice, it needs to be greased. And the oven needs to be pre-heated to 350.

Mix all the liquid and soft ingredients with the sugar and spices until smooth. Then add the flour, chips and craisins. Pour into the dish/ pans/ whatever, and let it sit at 10 minutes at room temperature. Then put into the oven.

After 50 minutes, cover the loaf/ loaves loosely with aluminum foil. 10-12 minutes later, check with a fork, toothpick, whatever. If the cake-checker-outer comes out clean, the banana bread is done. And if I sound a little punchy, it's because the chocolate has entered my system, and I'm a little giddy.

This is some tasty banana bread. I don't know who came up with the idea of making banana bread. But somebody somewhere decided to fly in the face of all logic and slime-nasty bananas, and at this particular moment, I love this person.

As I write this, the loaves have been out for just under an hour. One of the two is almost gone... two pieces to me, two to Ariel, and one into A's lunch bag.

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