Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Whole Wheat Banana BreadOne look through my recipe archives and you know how much I love things made with banana.

It is not so much that it is my favorite flavor, but that it is just so dang easy to make.  Banana type baked goods are virtually guaranteed to come out naturally sweet, moist, and popular with everyone.  I always have bananas in the house and on the frequent occasion that I end up with some that are too ripe, it is a no brainer that having an arsenal of quick bread and muffin recipes is handy.

A few weeks ago, I decided to use up my rather large amount of soon to be mush bananas and make a quadruple batch of this Double Chocolate Banana Bread.  However after the first loaf, I realized that someone (not me) had used up all the cocoa powder (I didn’t do it) making hot chocolate (not I) and never added it to the grocery list (fine, it was me).  So I decided to do one of my favorite things: pull random cookbooks off my shelf and start rifling through them to find a new recipe.  I do this pretty often when I need a little extra inspiration, or when I just get bored with what I have been cooking.  With over 100 cookbooks in my possession (not including the 5000+ recipes on my computer) it could keep me busy for years.

Fortunately, the first cookbook I picked up was my Whole Grain Baking cookbook by King Arthur Flour and I had no need to go any further.  I found this recipe and immediately whipped it up.  A plain, straightforward, whole wheat banana bread was exactly what I was looking for.
Whole Wheat Banana BreadI made a few adjustments to accommodate what I had on hand.  And then I made it again.  And then again.  At one point in time, I even shmeared a few slices with cold, salty butter-OH my stars-which is something I rarely do with bread but may now have to do on a regular basis.  Butter.  Goooooood.

So just in case you were planning on searching high and low for a great whole wheat banana bread recipe, look no further.  I got ya covered.  And you don’t have to sift through 100 cookbooks to find it!
Whole Wheat Banana BreadWhole Wheat Banana BreadOne Year Ago: Upside Down Sausage & Mushroom Pizza Casserole & Lemon and Garlic Shrimp Linguini 
Two Years Ago: Lemon Potatoes & Buttermilk Brownies

Whole Wheat Banana Bread
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
As with all quick breads made with bananas, be sure to use over ripe fruit-as in past the point that you would eat it out of the hand.  The skin will have dark spots on it and they will be VERY fragrant.  This makes for a moist, sweet, banana-y flavored bread.  If you use fruit that is not over ripe, the flavor and texture will suffer.

3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/4 c honey
2 eggs
1/3 c canola or grape seed oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c brown sugar
2 c whole wheat or white whole wheat flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
3/4 c chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or other large mixing bowl, combine the first six ingredients until well incorporated.  Add the dry ingredients and combine until barely mixed.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix the last few turns by hand.  Fold in the walnuts.  Pour into a greased, standard loaf pan-about 9X5- and bake for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  If your bread is getting too brown near the end of baking time, tent a piece of foil over the top.  Remove from the oven and let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes or so, until it has a chance to set a bit, then turn it out onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely.  This freezes great and is quite fantastic for breakfast.