Whole Wheat Banana-Nut Bread

I love Google Reader, have I mentioned that lately?  I follow many food blogs and opening up my reader is such a treat, there are so many new recipes inside, just waiting for me to read and try out!  I especially love when there is a recipe that I can make and share on the blog.  This past week I was reading updates from The Way The Cookie Crumbles and came across her post on Ultimate Banana Bread.  I always love a new recipe for a warm, moist bread…especially when it is great for dessert or breakfast, so I wrote it down and gave it a try.  I had 3 overly ripe bananas and 2 frozen ripe bananas that needed to be taken care of, what luck right? For detailed instructions visit her post, Cook’s Illustrated Ultimate Banana Bread. Plus you’ll want to see her pictures because they are far superior to mine 🙂

Also, did I mention that this is probably the best banana bread that I have ever tasted? OMG. WOW!!  The only possible way to make this better would be to add some dark chocolate chips, next time!  I went with her lighter option and used half the butter with oil, plus if you know me I always use whole wheat flour when I cook. I decided not to do the banana topping (so you need only 5 instead of 6 bananas) for storage purposes.  Enjoy!

Ultimate Banana Bread (via The Way The Cookie Crumbles and adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

  • 1¾ cups Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 5  EXTREMELY Ripe Bananas (about 2.25 lbs), peeled
  • 4 Tbsp Butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 2Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 2 Large Eggs, room temperature
  • ¾ cup Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla & butter nut extract (this is my favorite flavor but you could use plain vanilla or double vanilla)
  • ½ cup Walnuts, chopped and toasted
  • 1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons Sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray an 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together.
Place 5 bananas in a microwave-safe measuring cup/bowl. Microwave on high power until the bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. OR use your 5 frozen, pre-sliced bananas.  I don’t know about you but when my bananas are going bad, I hate to trash them if I am not planning on baking with them.  So most times I slice them up and throw them in the freezer for smoothies or baking later on.  Transfer the bananas to a strainer placed over a medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes (you should have ½ to ¾ cups liquid—-I had about 1 cup of liquid, which is fine, it just took a little bit longer to boil down into a syrup).
Transfer the liquid to a saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until it’s reduced to ¼ cup, about 10-15 minutes. While this is cooking down, whisk the butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla together in a large mixing cup or a small bowl. When the syrup is reduced stir it into the bananas, and mash with a potato masher until fairly smooth. Combine with other wet ingredients.
Combine wet and dry ingredients, mix until almost don’t see any more dry flour.  Fold in your toasted walnuts (Toasting the walnuts is essential! they have so much more flavor after toasting) and chocolate chips.  Pour batter into loaf pan and sprinkle with sugar (to create a nice crust when it is done!).  Bake for 40 to 70 minutes, it really depends on your oven, just keep checking. Your loaf is done when a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.  The original recipe says to let the bread cool 15 minutes, but seriously….the house smelled so good and it looked so delicious…..we couldn’t wait 🙂
(My oven tends to cook a little hot  and I was using silicone bakeware so it only took about 40 minutes for my bread to be ready).
**Here is a thought….other uses for banana syrup, cocktails? Yes, that sounds like something I will be trying out in the future! 😉


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9 Responses to “Whole Wheat Banana-Nut Bread”
  1. Hey everyone! Checking in from the deep blue sea 🙂 Home tomorrow! Anyone miss me? lol

  2. Hi, really loving the design of your website. Would you mind if I asked you what theme youre making use of here? I’m new to this, but I’m hoping to have mine looking nearly as cool as yours. Thanks a lot.

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