This is the third banana bread recipe I am posting to this site, and the second in about a two week time period. So I understand that Look you’re giving me. You’re all, what is the deeeeeal with you and banana bread? Especially after I made such a big fucking scene about the last one (you still need to make that, by the way). To be honest, I don’t know the answer to that question. I don’t even really consider myself to be a huge banana bread fan. Or, I guess I should say I didn’t. Until these 2 breads. After these breads I feel differently. I feel butterflies.
I didn’t know I could feel this way about banana bread. I really didn’t. This is like one of those movies in which banana bread is my best friend and he’s kinda awkward and wears weird clothing and has an adorable nickname and he’s always THERE for me and I’m chasing after like, fucking, chocolate almond croissant, but banana bread is my shoulder to cry on when when chocolate almond croissant turns out to be just another dick (surprise!), and he agrees to take me to the dance after I get stood up and then I see him in his tuxedo and he hands me a corsage and I realize that, christ!, it’s been right in front of me the whole time! Sweet, subtle, easy-going banana bread is it! And I take the corsage from him but I kinda let my fingers touch his hand as I do it, and our eyes lock and then, I don’t know, we end up spending the whole night walking and talking and he drops me off at my house and we kiss and I FEEL THAT SPARK and the credits roll.
THIS IS WHAT THAT WAS LIKE. Because, readers, I ate 3/4 of this banana bread loaf. By myself. And I kept doing that thing that girls do when they’re being dumb…cutting off the tiniest of slivers of the bread all “ok, I’m just going to have this much and it’ll satisfy my craving but I won’t have to eat a whole piece” and then I completely undermine that whole notion by going back 90 TIMES to cut 90 TINY SLIVERS and then near the end I’m all, oh what the hell, and I’m just gnawing on the end of the loaf.
I’ll tell you why I love this banana bread so much. 1) It’s healthy! I know that because I got it from my Moosewood New Classics cookbook (I’ve been reunited with some of my cookbooks and it feels SO GOOD) and those bitches do not lie, and they include all the caloric whatevers, and there’s only 1/3 cup of oil in the whole loaf, and that is not a lot of oil at all. 2) It uses 3 types of “flour”–which is to say, regular flour and then oats and flax seeds ground up into flour form, and that is just so INTERESTING to me. I love it when recipes surprise me with techniques and I’m all, why didn’t I think of that? and then the answer is, because I am not a professional baker. Plus I got to use my new spice grinder (got it for like $20…I highly recommend you getting one. you can grind your own coffee and nuts and whatever in small batches if you’re food-processor-less like me) 3) IT IS MOIST. I know some of you don’t like that word, but I have no other descriptor that nails it like moist. This is a moist bread. It’s moistfully wonderful.
I don’t know, there are other reasons. And also, we had 3 bananas going bad in our fridge, and I hate to waste, and I had all the rest of the ingredients on hand (except for the flax, which I substituted with sesame seeds, which were lovely). So it was a low-maintenance and ultimately surprisingly wonderful bread. And I threw some dried cranberries in there for good measure cause I like me some tarty bursts.
And oh my god, with cream cheese? and a cup of chai? and the New York Times Magazine crossword? on a bright and autumnal San Francisco morning? Well, I don’t believe in heaven. But if there was one, this would be it for me.
Flaxseed Banana Bread
from Moosewood Restaurant New Classics
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed (see? that is soo not a lot of sugar)
1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3)
1/2 cup rolled oats, ground into flour
1/4 cup flaxseeds, ground into flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (I used all-purpose)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
(I also added about 1/2 cup dried cranberries, which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND)
Preheat the oven to 350. Butter or oil a 5×9″ bread pan.
In a mixing bowl, combine the oil and brown sugar. Add the eggs and beat well. Mix in the yogurt and bananas. In a separate bowl or a blender, combine the three flours, the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry mixture to the banana mixture and stir just until combined. (Stir in the cranberries here)
Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for about 1 hour or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Tip the bread out of the pan onto a platter to cool completely.