Thursday, February 25, 2010

Banana Chocolate Chip Bread

This is one of my favorite recipes and gets a ton of compliments. It is probably one of the most requested recipes I have as well. It is pretty easy to make and makes several loafs, so enjoy.

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
4 large eggs at room temperature for 30 minutes
2 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups coarsely mashed very ripe bananas (6 large bananas)
1/4 cup creme fraiche
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups mini chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 2 (9X5X3 inch) metal loaf pans, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.

Sift together flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a bowl.

Beat together eggs, sugar in a bowl of electric mixer at medium-high speed until very thick and pale and mixture forms a ribbon when beater is lifted, about 10 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add oil in a slow stream, mixing then mixing bananas, creme fraiche, and vanilla. REmove bowl from mixer and fold in flour mixture and chocolate chips gently but thoroughly.

Divide batter between loaf pans, spreading evenly, and bake in middle of oven until golden brown and a wooden toothpick or skewer comes out clean, about 1-1 1/4 hours.

Cool loaves in pans on rack for 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack. Turn loaves right side up and cool completely.

BAKING NOTEs- you can use whole wheat flour, but use half all-purpose and whole wheat flour. for a little extra healthy benefit, add 1/4 cup of ground flax seeds to the flour mixture. If you cannot find Creme Fraiche, use sour cream, but most speciality stores will have creme fraiche. I usually find it at Wegmans. (I also freeze the extras, so that I don't have to keep repurchase). I freeze my bananas when they start to over ripen, but crush them first. I mark how many bananas are in each bag so that I know when I go to bake. Do not freeze bananas in skin as they are really difficult to peel and get liquidly when defrosted.
In addition, this recipe can be made into muffins, I believe it is 20 minutes, but it maybe 30, so cross check they are done before removing them from the oven. It is a great breakfast on the go as muffins. Lastly be careful that the entire loaf bakes. I tend to make 3 loaves rather than 2 as I find 2 loaves tend to have a difficult thoroughly cooking in the middle.

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