A Better Banana Bread

A Better Banana Bread

Banana bread, warm from the oven and slathered in an excessive amount of soft butter, is one of my favorite things in the world. It's soft, sweet and reminds me of childhood. With that in mind, most of the recipes out there are made with only refined flour and are, for me, relatively basic and lack depth. So here's my take on a better banana bread!

Equipment you will need:

kitchenaid stand mixer

9"x5" loaf pan

spatula

oven

The recipe:

120g butter, soft

115g granulated sugar

115g dark brown sugar

55g egg (1 egg)

180g AP flour

75g rye flour

350g ripe bananas, (about 3 bananas)

320g sourdough starter

5g baking powder

3g baking soda

10g vanilla paste

8g salt

3g grapefruit zest

crystalized ginger- as needed (optional)

 

the stuff

the stuff

The Method:

First things first, scale all of the ingredients and preheat the oven to 350F. i measured the baking powder, baking soda and salt together, the zest and vanilla together and the two sugars are together. To start, put the soft butter and the two sugars in the bowl of the stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high until the mixture is light and fluffy about 3 minutes. make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula a couple times to make sure the mix is homogeneous. Add in the egg, mix until smooth. Next add the bananas and sourdough starter and mix for 2 minutes on medium. this is going to mash up the bananas as well as disperse the starter evenly before adding dry ingredients. 

next, turn the mixer down to speed 1 and add the grapefruit zest, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, salt and both flours. scrape down the batter a few times to mix evenly and mix a total of two minutes. while the batter is mixing, coat the 9"x5" pan with butter and dust with flour. pour the batter into the pan and top with chopped crystallized ginger. 

in the pan, topped with crystallized ginger

in the pan, topped with crystallized ginger

bake at 350F for about an hour, turning the pan at 30 minutes. A toothpick should come out clean when fully baked, or bake to an internal temp of 200F. Remove from the pan and let cool slightly, then get in there while it's still warm and load it up with butter. 

baked. not pictured: excessive amounts of butter i ate this with. 

baked. not pictured: excessive amounts of butter i ate this with. 

100% spelt profiteroles

100% spelt profiteroles

Not all flour is created equal, especially whole grain flours. Products that were once elastic can become sticky, once light and fluffy muffins can become dense and crumbly without a second thought to the baker's fragile ego that wants nothing more than a delicate, warm pastry first thing in the morning. At a certain point, we are just going to have to accept that whole grain baking is not going to be as easy, or as predictable, as baking with refined flour. I would emphasize that not only is this not a bad thing, with a skilled hand and a little patience, it can be better! 

100% whole grain biscuits

100% whole grain biscuits

First and foremost, welcome to Publican Quality Bread's adventures in whole grain baking! A repeating theme for this blog is going to be just how flavorful and healthy local, fresh milled grains can be, and how you can play along!