Every person falls into one of two categories – a cook or a baker. Cooks are more flexible, creative, and probably late more often. Bakers are type A, precise, timely, and maybe perfectionistic. I know I’m a baker because sometimes when the world spins and feels out of control, I like to bake and follow a great recipe – ensuring me beautiful (and beautifully consistent) results.
I know I drone on about America’s Test Kitchen but dude, they deliver. Is there anything worse than making a mess of your kitchen and wasting time and ingredients to yield a disappointing product? I don’t think there is, which is why I run to ATK when I need things to WORK. This bread has gluten, it has fat. It has sugar, cholesterol, and white flour. It’s scrumptious, and I didn’t want to make swaps. So there.
Early in my marriage I used a flimsy, cutesy cookbook to make some blueberry oat muffins. Thirty minutes later my husband walked in to see me picking up muffins and chucking them, literally as hard as I could (like with a wind up) into the garbage disposal. He said “what can I do to help, do you want me to eat a muffin?”. He’s a nice boy. I said yes. This memory serves to remind me that if you want to be completely sure things will turn out correctly, seek out America’s Test Kitchen.
Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
Makes 1 9×5 in. loaf, or two 6×4
Slightly adapted from America’s Test Kitchen
2 c. all purpose flour
2/3 c. packed light brown sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 c. chocolate chips, chopped
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well (about 1 1/2 c.)
1/4 c. low fat plain yogurt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
6 tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp. vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease and flour your pan (or use the grease and flour spray from Pillsbury – works so well).
2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, walnuts and chocolate together in a large bowl.
3. In a medium bowl, mix mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter and vanilla.
4. Pour wet ingredients over dry. Gently fold with a rubber spatula until just combined.
5. Scoop into prepared pan(s).
8. Bake in center of the oven for 55 minutes or until a toothpick entered into the top center comes out cleanly. If baking in a smaller pan, it might be between 40-45 minutes.
9. Let bread cool at least 10 minutes in the pan, and then invert onto a wire rack. Bread would be great served warm; if keeping a while before serving, let bread cool completely and wrap in plastic wrap. You can keep it at room temp for at least 3 days. If freezing, wrap cooled bread in plastic wrap and then completely/tightly in foil. Freeze for up to 3 months.