8.17.2011

Banana-Zucchini Bread


I am not partial to baking; I much prefer methods of cooking where I can experiment, taste and tweak as I go rather than wait until the end to see if it comes out right. But I have just enough patience for quick breads. Of this special no-yeast genre, banana bread has been the chosen one for me since childhood. My nana would always have a loaf on hand for our visits and I remember sitting in her kitchen, annihilating slice after slice until the loaf was nearly extinct, at which point she would magically produce another. (And so it goes...) Her recipe was adapted from the Joy of Cooking -- classic and delicious -- and my family has been making it that way ever since. But, being the experimenter that I am, I cannot pass up an interesting recipe twist. Enter Joanne Bruno's recipe for Whole Wheat Banana Zucchini Bread. I stumbled across this recipe and was immediately intrigued by its marriage of two classic quick breads: banana and zucchini. A fruit and veggie combo loaf? Sounds healthy to me. With chocolate chips? Yes, please. I opted to throw some currants into the mix as well, though I imagine a variety of dried fruits and nuts would be stellar additions to this loaf.


BANANA-ZUCCHINI BREAD WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS & CURRANTS
[Adapted from Joanne Bruno, Yield: 1 loaf]

Ingredients: 
2 eggs
1/4 cup honey
1 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt 2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 medium zucchini, grated
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup dried currants

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a standard-sized loaf pan.
2. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, honey, banana, brown sugar, and vanilla until well-combined.
3. In a medium bowl, sift together the flours, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon. Mix into the egg/banana mixture just until combined.
4. Stir in the zucchini, chocolate chips and currants until just combined.
5. Pour into loaf pan and bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let rest for 15-20 minutes before removing from the loaf pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.

[Note: For this batch I baked part of the batter as muffins, yielding 4 small muffins and a slightly smaller loaf. The muffins took about 40 minutes to cook through and the loaf was perfect at 55, though times will vary depending on the oven -- use the toothpick rule to be sure].

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