Friday, June 13, 2014

roasted banana bread

Roasted bananas are genius. We all know the best banana bread comes from way over-ripe bananas, but when you only have firm, ripe, still-eatable bananas, roasting them is a way to concentrate and intensify the flavors to something that's even better than over-ripe.

I used mostly white whole wheat flour in this, so it's a bit more dense and chewy and nutty than using all-purpose alone. You can use the all purpose exclusively if you like. Also, it's not overly sweet - but I don't think quick breads necessarily should be super sweet. I found this one to be perfect.  If you choose to add all sugar rather than sugar+Stevia, use 1 1/2 cups of sugar.  You can also replace the Greek yogurt with sour cream if you like.  Feel free to add toasted pecans or walnuts as desired.

Roasted Banana Bread

4 large firm, ripe (but not over-ripe) bananas
2 sticks butter (I used salted for this recipe)
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons white Stevia powder
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
3 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups plain Greek yogurt

Place butter, eggs, and yogurt on the counter to come to room temperature, about 45 minutes to an hour before making bread. Preheat oven to 350 degrees to roast bananas. Grease and flour a Bundt pan, or 2 loaf pans.

Place bananas on a baking sheet, still in the peels. Roast for 15 minutes; flip them to the other side and roast 15 minutes more. Let cool to handle, peel, and place 3 bananas and the juice from the baking sheet in a bowl. Mash thoroughly. Slice the other banana in half (for loaf pans) or in thirds (Bundt pan).

Cream softened butter with the sugar and Stevia. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing well with each addition.  Add mashed bananas and vanilla and mix well.

In a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Alternate adding dry ingredients with yogurt to the banana mixture, starting and ending with dry ingredients. Do not overmix.

Pour into Bundt pan, or halve between the 2 loaf pans. Place remaining sliced banana on top of batter. Bake for 1 hour, 5 minutes to 1 hour, 10 minutes. Start watching and testing at 1 hour.  Turn out bread onto a wire rack to cool a few minutes before slicing and serving warm.

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