Whole Wheat Banana Bread
From King Arthur Flour
I have an irrational fear of whole wheat flour. As a dietitian I know I’m supposed to use it. White flour = the devil, or so we’re told. But I feel like I’ve heard and read that whole wheat flour makes everything dense, or hard, or grainy, or crappy, etc. So I never bought it. And it certainly didn’t make it into my infamous pop-top “pantry staples” collection.
Some say neurotic, I say plesantly organized.
But after finishing our Lenten Whole 30, during which we didn’t eat any grains at all, it felt like sacralidge to go back to all-purpose flour. So I sucked it up and bought a bag of the best whole wheat flour on the market, King Arthur. Seriously, check out their website for some of the most awe-inspiring recipes I’ve ever seen, many of which use whole wheat flour. I figured banana bread was a safe place to start, since it’s easy to make and the bananas are likely to overpower the wheatieness. Sure enough, delish! No reason to ever use all purpose flour in quick breads again. You couldn’t detect the difference, and with the addition of chocolate chips John was in 28-going-on-5-year-old heaven.
It was so good that it inspired me to try whole grain waffles, bread and tortillas since then, which have all turned out great. So great that I whipped out the label maker and allowed whole wheat flour to join my precious pop-top collection – quite the honor!
- 1 cup (8 Tbsp) butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (we used light, the recipe says dark is fine too)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 lb very ripe bananas (as weighed with peels on, about 3 large)
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups whole wheat flour (I HIGHLY recommend King Arthur brand)
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, use a hand mixer to beat together butter and brown sugar until smooth.
- Add vanilla, baking soda, salt and bananas. Continue beating until well combined. The mixture should be pretty smooth, with a few chunks of banana.
- Beat in honey and eggs.
- Stir in flour, and then the chocolate chips, until smooth.
- Pour into a greased loaf pan. Let it rest at room temperature for 10 minutes before baking. I believe this is supposed to soften the whole grains, so don’t skip it.
- Bake for 50 minutes, then gently lay a piece of foil over the top of the pan and continue baking for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow loaf to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on a rack.
- Eat as is, or spread with cream cheese for ridiculous awesomeness.
Note: We kept the loaf in a tupperware container for a week, cutting off slices as we went.