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 â€œwhat can I do to help, do you want me to eat a muffin?â€. Heâ€™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 Americaâ€™s Test Kitchen.
Banana Chocolate Chip Bread
Makes 1Â 9×5 in. loaf, or two 6×4
Slightly adapted from Americaâ€™s Test Kitchen
2 c. all purpose flour
2/3 c. packed light brown sugar
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1Â 1/4 c. toasted walnuts, chopped
1/2 c. chocolate chips, chopped
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well (about 1Â 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.Â 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.Â
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. Â 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.