Sarah leaned over and started whispering sweet nothings into my ear the other day. No, it wasn’t those sweet nothings, it was more along the lines of ‘hey you, want to bake something delicious tonight?’. I think I fumbled a few words, before running into the kitchen like a little school girl. Of course I want to bake some delicious. Throwing cookies and pie out the window, I decided to go with something else that fills the homestead with sweet smelling aroma. Banana bread. Not just one banana bread though, I figured I had enough for 3. I mean, if I’m gonna crank the ol’ hot box, I might as well make it worth my time!
As I pulled banana after banana out of the freezer, I learned Sarah was getting together with her Auntie Sue and wanted to bring along a treat. Good thing I was making three loafs, because it would seem her sweet talking intentions didn’t take into account my hungry belly. As I went through my trusty flour coated cookbooks, I flipped past some old stand by recipes in hope of something new. Not finding what I was looking for, I went to the internet, where it seems you can find a different recipe for almost every family bloodline. Eventually I clicked onto the Joy of Baking and found three different banana breads recipes. With just the right amount of ripe, mashed banana on the counter, I started measuring, scooping, stirring, and pouring.
First to the party was their regular version. Similar to probably 90% of recipes out there, I upped the vanilla and cinnamon and opted out of nuts. I ended up adding an extra 10 minutes or so to the baking time and let it create a perfect, top crust (think muffin top). The recipe turned out pretty darn good. With a nice hint of sweetness, I found a slice of this was heaven if I slid it in the toaster for a quick warm up. Breakfast of champions. The second recipe on the list was chocolate banana bread. I don’t remember the last time I made a banana bread with chocolate. It makes sense though; who doesn’t love chocolate covered bananas right. I found the chocolate chips melted into little pools and created fudge-like sections throughout the bread. That’s right. Soft, rich chocolate globs stuck right in the middle. Yum! If you notice some yellow spots in both of the first two recipes, it’s because I pureed half of the banana while leaving the other half really chunky. I’ve never done this before, but it turned out great when you bit into a nice ripe chunk of moist banana.
Recipe number three was lighter than the first two. Besides balancing out the calories from the first two loafs, I figured it would be good for a one-two taste test. Using whole wheat flour and yogurt may have you thinking it’d wouldn’t be able to compete, but you’d be wrong. Even Sarah’s aunt, who we found out doesn’t like banana bread, was almost won over by this recipe. It might have to do with the fact that I once again upped the cinnamon, but I think this loaf was maybe the most balanced of the three. There is something about the way yogurt and whole wheat flour work in this recipe; almost adding enough flavour profiles on their own, so the bread isn’t dominated by just banana.
I think I’d be hard pressed to pick a winner out of the three. I know the chocolate and low-fat were easily the two that stood out, but I think that might have to do with the fact that everyday banana bread can be come so run-of-the-mill. Maybe I should use up the rest of my ripe bananas in muffins or cookies..mmmm, banana cookies.