I have been baking quite a bit this past week, but in some cases I wasn’t that thrilled about the results and in other cases I didn’t use whole grains – just went with the white flour recipes. It is the holidays after all and tradition is the main theme. In baking that often means white flour. Although some things, like the ginger-oatmeal cookies I made did work out well, even with whole grains.
However, I did bake a whole grain banana nut bread that was quite good. It is based on a Banana Bread recipe out of Farm Journal’s Homemade Pies, Cookies & Bread book (page738). Given the moisture level of the bananas and going on my experience last month when I made pumpkin muffins with blue agave, I decided not to use blue agave as a sweetener in this bread. I used plain white sugar.
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup soy flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups mashed, ripe bananas (about 6 bananas)
2 Tbl fresh lemon juice
¾ cup shortening
1 ½ cup sugar
3 large eggs
¾ cup soy milk
½ cup chopped pecans
Directions: Mix flours, baking powder, salt, and baking soda together in small bowl.
Using the mixer, mash the bananas. Add lemon juice and mix well.
Using another bowl, cream shortening and sugar with mixer at medium speed. Add eggs and beat until light and fluffy (at least 4 minutes).
Add dry ingredients alternately with soy milk.
Fold in bananas and nuts.
Pour into 2 greased loaf pans (8 ½ inches x 4 ½ inches x 2 ½ inches).
Bake for one hour in a pre-heated 350 degree oven or until a wooden pick inserted in center of bread comes out clean.
Cool in pans for 10 minutes.
Remove from pans and cool on wire rack.
Wrap in foil or plastic wrap and let stand in cool place overnight before slicing. Double wrap loaf to freeze it.
Makes 2 loaves.
RESULTS: The cookbook’s directions say to bake the loaves in a 350 degree oven for one hour, but I had to bake them for 1 ½ hours. This may have been due to the ripeness of my bananas and their high moisture content (they were ripe bananas that I had in the freezer). So, consider the moisture in your bananas and be sure to test your bread for doneness using the wooden pick.
I believe this will be a wonderful breakfast bread – although we ate about 1/3 of it tonight as dessert! Clearly, we will eat the first loaf up quite quickly. As for the second loaf, I wrapped it in saran wrap and put it into a plastic freezer bag in order to freeze it for later in the week. This banana nut bread is a definite keeper!
If you have a whole grain holiday bread or dessert recipe you’d like to share, please let us know what it is. I’d love to learn about new and healthier holiday treats.