Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Classic Banana Bread

I've had a few requests for my low fat banana bread recipe. It isn't actually my own invention, but one I found quite by accident in the trusty old Fannie Farmer Cookbook (by Marion Cunningham...yea, like on "Happy Days"). It always makes a nice dense down right wholesome banana bread. Take a deep breath. Here it is.

Not so classic that I add chocolate chips to my banana bread. People usually add nuts. I say...there are enough nuts in this world! Then again, have I ever been normal? Can't think of one occasion I have fit into that category. Hallelujah! Especially if chocolate is involved.

Refrain from licking your computer screen. No, it's not scratch and sniff either (Olivia).

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Before you turn it on, check to make sure you didn't shove any dirty dishes in there the last time company came by unexpectedly. I've never done that.

Here's what you need:
3 ripe bananas (now around my house the only bananas laying around get eaten in 10 minutes, so we just use the bananas even if they are really non-ripe...sorry Marion).
2 eggs, well beaten
2 cups flour (all purpose or cake flour are best for this bread to be light and cake-like)
3/4 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips or nuts...for the wack-o-nut-cases out there.(Own it. You know who you are!)

Mash the bananas really nice. It will be very important to get good fork prints.

Look what Face did when I said that...

Yea. Classic. "Mom you are insane". I can own that, right? To further prove this point of insanity...whenever I squash bananas I have to sing the song from the Lion King where the crazy baboon sings "la la la la squashed banaaanaaa..." Pretty sure I am the village idiot?

Okay. Pour the bananas into a shiny bowl with the cracked eggs (and crack pots...) What?
You don't have a yellow gingham table cloth for the perfect country banana bread photo op?

Oooo. Yellooooow.

In a separate bowl, measure the flour, salt, baking soda...

And the sugar...

Mix them up pretty good so you don't get a glob of baking soda that ends up in one spot and of course in the only slice your Mother-in-law eats...and she thinks you are a horrible cook...and you blame me. Most important you don't blame me. Geesh.

Mix the egg and banana really, really, really well. Really.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones along with the vanilla and cinnamon.

Here is the kicker. Brace yourself. Mix it just until the flour is moist. Not whipping it like a bad old boyfriend. We are all about peace, love, and happiness here. Seriously, this bread will treat you right if you go easy on it. Especially since we don't have any fat in there, it will be really easy for the protein to hook up. Fat coats proteins so they won't connect and the strands will be short...and tender cake like. Same concept applies for pancakes, most muffins, and biscuits.

Gently and softly as a dove fold in the food that will eventually bring about world peace...sing with me now..."There's a land that I see where the children are free"...aaaaahhhh.

In a LAND where the children are free...

Feel free to lightly oil the 8 inch by 4 inch loaf pan, and then sprinkle some flour on there. No flour power puns. no. no. no.

What batter you haven't eaten, put in the pan.

Here's a trick I learned working for a major food service bakery in Salt Lake City. We would make deck ovens full of these things and my mentor, Arnie, would insist on this decorative trick. I still can't make banana bread any other way. Here's what I do...
Lightly coat the top of the batter with a little butter. Lightly.

Then take a metal spatula and cut all the way through the loaf of batter the entire length of the loaf. This forces the bread to break in a perfectly uniform way as it bakes.


Place bread in the preheated oven for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the loaf comes out fairly clean. Hard to tell when the chocolate chips start to melt. Remove from the pan to a rack. Serve still warm or cooled...if it makes it that long. Because it is so low fat, be sure to wrap tightly when cooled to preserve the moist texture.
There you go.


Anonymous said...

This has to be one of the yummiest banana bread recipes i have ever laid my eyes on! I love it! Thanks for sharing this recipe!Hope you can come over and share this yummy treat over at - the cooking encyclopedia everyone can edit. Would also love a link to this post from our site.(This will direct Foodista readers to your blog)Here's how you can create inbound links from our site Check it out here. This is a great way for you to build blog traffic and connect with other food lovers! See you there! Thanks!

Amy said...

I had to restrain myself from licking the screen! That looks AWESOME. And I'm with you on the chocolate chips.

Chef Tess said...

LOL Amy! I'm telling you I may be inadvertently responsible for more computer fritzes than I care to admit!

Mary Postert said...

I tried this recipe tonight. Yummy, yummy, yummy. And I love that it's lowfat. I have one question. My chocolate chips sank to the bottom of the loaf. Is there any way to prevent this?

Chef Tess said...

Mary I'm so excited to hear you tried the recipe and loved it. Epic great question! You must have had really ripe bananas or mashed them really well. That would contribute to a loose batter. The thinner the batter the higher chance of chocolate chip sink-age (is that a word?). You can use the mini chocolate chips to help solve that. My personal favorite would be to just take the bag of chips and funnel it into my mouth instead of the dough...wait...did I just type that?

Mary Postert said...

I think I totally mashed the bananas too much. Next time I'll try not to go bananas on the bananas. Thanks Steph.

Unknown said...

I did a delightful banana bread with this recipe me and my mini me love them and in place of chocolate chips we did peanut butter chips loved every bite and great compliments thanks for your amazing posts and recipes we enjoy many of your great meals cooked by myself I love you and your food advice thanks a bunch for being so uplifting and positive.