Monday, November 12, 2007

Questing for the perfect Banana Bread ...

I'm on the eternal quest for the perfect AND healthy banana nut bread recipe - the bread I baked for LisaBee's bachelorette party was pretty good, but I'm trying to make it even moister without having to use loads of butter, in fact I want *very* little butter. But I want it moist. And reasonably light. And flavorful. And nutty. Lofty aspirations, eh? :)

Well, this attempt was definitely a step in the right direction! In fact, this might be it! I might have to retire on this quest and move onto a different one :) The fun thing is that I've totally gotten back into baking - not sure if it was because of the plethora of frozen overripe bananas sitting in my fridge or my messing up of the last Pioneer Organics order that resulted in about 20 apples that I need to use up or just the fact that turning on the oven makes the house warmer :) Whatever be the reason, I'm loving it. And this time, I'm definitely loving the result!

Banana Nut Spice Bread
Light on the fat, NOT on the flavor!

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour (another PCC discovery!)

1/2 cup of brown sugar
3 T honey
2 cups of super ripe mashed bananas (yes, I went overboard with the bananas, but it totally worked!)

2 T vegetable oil
2/3 cup buttermilk

1 t vanilla extract

1 t salt
1 T baking soda

2 large eggs (or egg substitute :))

1/2 t cinnamon

1/4 t nutmeg

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 F and grease a 9x5 loaf pan.

Beat the oil, sugar, baking soda, salt cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.

Beat in the eggs one at a time (or, like in this case, the egg substitute - 1/4 cup at a time).
Next come the bananas and honey. By now, the mixture should be smooth and creamy.
Now start adding the flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, folding it in till blended.
Finally toss in the nuts and mix.

Now pour the batter into the greased pan and let it sit for about 10 minutes. I picked up this hint from one of my fave books on baking Whole Grain Baking that my sis turned me onto. Letting the batter sit seems to result in a much moister, fluffier bread - that makes me happy! :)

Ok, now stick the pan in the oven for 45 minutes. Lay a piece of foil over the pan and let it bake for another 10 minutes.
Now do the usual does-the-toothpick-come-clean? thing - Not done yet? Don't panic! It might take a few more minutes in the oven to get the inside completely done :)

Once done, let the cake cool in the pan for 10-12 minutes before tipping it onto a cooling rack.

Slice it. Taste it.

Wooo Hooo Hoooo!!!! This is good, really good! I feel like I've finally hit that balance I wanted - I had tried this with several substitutes - apple sauce made it too dry, sour cream made it too heavy, but this buttermilk thing seems to have worked great, even with the egg substitute! And the cinnamon+nutmeg was the perfect amount of spice to complement the banana+honey flavors!

Ok, I'm shipping this off to Baking History's Bread Baking Day #04 as my submission for 'Bread and Spices' :)




Thats looking yummy !!!

Nags said...

looks really soft and yummy

Rajitha said...

i love banana bread..i sometimes put pecans or walnuts in it too..yumm..never thought of adding butter-milk!! will do it the next time i bake:) thnks

Ben said...

I love banana nut bread! This recipe looks delicious!

Asha said...

Great looking bread. There are somany version of Banana bread, it's mind boggling!:D

TBC said...

The banana bread looks very nice:-)

nicisme said...

I love banana bread and this looks really good!

bee said...

j amkes the most amazing banana bread, and the recipe is very similar o this one. i prefer walnuts to choc chips any day. they enhance th banana flavour. btw, i just discovered this version with rum and coconut.

Happy cook said...

Love the banana bread. Especially as it is with buttermilk. They say then it is so moist

Shella said...

Banana nut bread is my favorite. I can have loads of them at the same time. Your bread looks just so welcome Pls pass on a slice to me. mmmm on second thoughts, one wont do for me, you might as well pass the whole lot :-)

Kelly Mahoney said...

This brings me back! My grandma used to make banana bread for me.

Lissie said...

the banana bread looks perfect! so delicious...!!

KayKat said...

*burp*! Just ate a slice :)

Bee, the next time J bakes some BB, you should just send it my way! :) And yes, I'm a fan of the walnuts too (as much as I love chocolate in general!)

I saw these recipes on Mandy's blog, spent a lot of time drooling over that chiffon cake :)

Kribha said...

Looks yummy and delicious. I love banana bread too. Never used brown sugar in my recipe before. Will try it your way next time.

Baking History said...

KayKat, thank you for participating with this spicy version of banana bread! It looks wonderful!

Richa said...

like u, i too am looking for that perfect banana bread that i can hv for breakfast every single day ;) urs looks very good, liked the texture! would like to try this, what kind of egg sub did u use, if i may ask? tx

KayKat said...

Hey Richa!

I usually use EggBeaters when I want to substitute for the eggs. Trader Joe's carries it.

baking history said...

the roundup for bbd#04 is now online. Thank you for your participation!

Susan said...

Buttermilk, great idea. I love banana bread but not all those calories, so this looks like a good one!

Anonymous said...

For a nice, moist banana bread, try adding 1/2 cup dates.

Anonymous said...

For a nice, moist banana bread, try adding 1/2 cup dates.