Whole Wheat Banana Bread

I have a hard time finding banana bread ANYTHING since I’m not a fan of nuts.  Even saying “banana bread,” I have to catch myself to make sure that sneaking word “nut” doesn’t get in there.  It has a nice ring to it… “banana nut bread.”  It feels complete.  I just hate having something hard lurking in every bite of my soft, moist bread.

During college, my final and most precious roommate and I would often bake.  She was always willing to try any type of food I could imagine.  Our kitchen was the central part of our lives.  It was where we entertained, where we would sit and talk, it was only natural that we dine together and cook together once a week.  One of my favorite places to grab recipes was from the backs of boxes.  And I had found the PERFECT whole wheat banana bread recipe on the back of a whole wheat flour bag.

Then college ended.  I graduated, she moved back to New York, and our recipes were sent off to the four winds including my favorite whole wheat banana bread recipe. 

Searching the internet, I found several recipes.  This recipe is as simple as the elusive perfect recipe, but is missing that special “something.”  (It could just be how great food tastes when you’re a starving college student….) 

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons margarine, melted
  • 4 medium bananas, mashed
  • 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
  • cooking spray

Directions:

Prep Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 50 mins

  1. Prepare (3) small loaf pans or (1) large loaf pan with the cooking spray.
  2. Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Combine sugar and next three ingredients in another bowl; add to flour mixture until dry ingredients are moistened.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  5. Bake at 350 for 30-50 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, remove and cool completely on wire rack.
  7. ENJOY.

 

Notes from my adventure baking this bread:

*  This is the first time I actually baked it as a loaf.  I went out and BOUGHT a loaf pan so I could start baking bread since bread costs are soaring.  Before I was cooking it to be more like… well… brownies.  Or like a slightly risen cake.  Since the pan is smaller, the bread becomes more dense in the middle.  I ended up having to increase my cook time from 20-something minutes (spread out, thin, more surface area) to the full 50 minutes.  It might have been a little less than 50 since I set the timer for 30 minutes, then ten, and then just checked it sporadically from there on out.

*  “Slightly beaten” eggs?  I was sure what they were looking for so I swirled it around with my spoon a bit then mixed it in.  Didn’t seem to compromise the taste.

*  Banana amounts.  I have used as many as five bananas (isn’t it funny how fast bananas can get brown?) to as few as 3.  It depends on your banana-y-ness needs.  Five is obviously pretty thick with bananas.  Three makes it a little sparse.  The great thing is, it tastes amazing either way.  I don’t PLAN on having bad bananas, I just use whatever is brown.

*  I have heard people mention putting in cinnamon or nutmeg.  I didn’t try it this time, but they are suggestions.  I don’t even really “serve” the bread with anything. I cut off pieces, wrap them in wax paper and saran wrap, and grab as I go in the morning.  Tastes just as good cold as warm to me.

And now, maybe next week, I’ll actually cook a MEAL for this!

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