Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Makes one 9 x 5-inch loaf 

As part of my ongoing efforts to keep you in the kitchen, I offer this recipe for banana bread.  I can’t shed too much new light on banana bread except to say this recipe combines the whole-grain goodness of whole wheat flour with some all-purpose flour. This flour combination keeps the bread from becoming too heavy and dense. If desired, 1/2 cup golden raisins can be substituted for the nuts, and if you don’t want any white flour you can always experiment and use all whole wheat flour.

2 cups whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl and whisk together to blend ingredients. In another bowl mix together the eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla, mashed bananas, and walnuts. Make a hole in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in the liquid mixture. Stir to blend ingredients well. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes until the crust is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool on a rack.…

Beer Batter Bread

With the leaves turning yellow, and the air predicted to turn crisp, my thoughts turn to cool-weather food. I enjoy making “dump and stir” savory breads almost as much as taking the time to make focaccia or ciabatta. Made with dark, rich stout this bread pairs well with a hearty stew or soup. Use a lighter lager or ale to serve with salad. Delicious either way.

Makes one 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the loaf pan

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

3 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 (12-ounce) bottle lager, ale, or stout, at room temperature

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush one 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with some of the butter.

In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add the beer and 2 tablespoons of the remaining melted butter, stirring just until combined. (The batter will be somewhat lumpy.)

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and drizzle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter. Bake until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly, then invert onto the rack to cool until warm. Serve warm or at room temperature.…