it's banana bread season. first, it appeared via the frozen brown bananas in my friend's freezer. "WHAT are those?!" i admit, i judged. what i did not realize was that they were bananas at their peak of banana breadiness (all nice and brown and squishy) and that this stage was being preserved in her freezer! genius! thinking of my own lone 1 brown banana at home, i wished i had thought of it myself. then, today, a friend at work brought banana bread to the office. it was not wheat-free and it made me cranky. again, thoughts of my lone brown banana. so when i got home, it seemed inevitable that my banana would take its journey to breadhood. the problem was, i only had one banana. your standard banana bread recipe calls for 2-3 of them. an experiment ensued.
i used a combination of a recipe from a baker friend, becky crocker, as well as another one that called for less banana. i thought i was home free but then it turned out that i was short on flour. so i threw in some oatmeal to make up the difference. and some walnuts and chocolate chips to compensate for the lack of banana. becky crocker is probably yelling about my lack of respect for baking chemistry but what could i do? i tried to call her...
since the bread is baking while i am writing, i must add that when i checked on the bread about 20 minutes into the baking time it had puffed way up. i poked it with a chopstick which seemed to let out some of the air. now (10 minutes later) it's lower and much more bread like. you may want to poke the bread to release the air halfway through cooking...
SUCCESS! my banana experiment was soft and crumbly with a caramelized crust on the bottom and a thin, crispy layer on top. deeeeelicious.
oatmeal chocolate walnut "banana bread"
- 1/2 cup of softened butter substance of your choice (i used 3 tblspns of butter and 5 tblspns of earth balance)
- 1 cup of brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 mashed banana (more if you have it)
- 1 tspn vanilla
- 1 cup flour (spelt here)
- 1/4 cup oats (not gluten-free but if it needs to be, omit the oats and go with 1 1/4 cups of gluten-free flour)
- 1 tspn baking soda
- 1 tspn cinnamon
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- cream butter and sugar
- add banana, eggs and vanilla and stir
- add flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and stir
- mix in chocolate chips and walnuts
- bake in a 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes--consider poking halfway through to release air if it's too puffy