Wednesday, October 31, 2012

What's Baking: Banana Ginger Spice Bread

I think I'm going to have to start a "Quick Bread of the Week" feature around these parts, as it seems that without fail, I bake up a new loaf of bread every week. (What else am I going to have with my mid-morning cup of tea?) For this week's version, I combined my favorite banana bread with my favorite autumnal spices -- ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. And then I decided to up the ante by adding in some crystallized ginger chips. The result? Pure deliciousness. I am definitely making this quick bread again.

Banana Ginger Spice Bread (printer-friendly version)
makes one large loaf

1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 raw sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup 100% whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/4 t kosher salt
1/2 cup crystallized ginger chips
3-4 super-ripe bananas, mashed

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Grease (use cooking spray or rub with butter) one large (9-inch) loaf pan.
3. In an electric mixer bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well.
4. Sift together the flours, cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
5. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and mashed banana to the butter-sugar-egg-vanilla mixture. Stir between additions by hand. Stir in the crystallized ginger
6. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
7. Bake for 45-60 minutes or until a knife or toothpick inserted into the bread center comes out clean.
8. Remove the bread from the oven and place the pan on a wire rack. Allow bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
9. After 10 minutes, remove the bread from the pan and allow to cool completely on the wire rack.
10. Wrap the bread in aluminum foil, and store in the fridge for up to a week. (If it lasts that long!)

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