24 February 2010

Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread

George, gazing disapprovingly at our two aging bananas, told me he was thinking of making banana bread. I yawned. Then he said he was going to put leftover chopped hazelnuts into the recipe. I perked up immediately because whenever anyone says "hazelnuts" I think "chocolate." After living with me for so long George thinks the same way. We cast about for a recipe; Julia's recipe (our standard) requires Crisco, which we don't have and don't particularly feel like having, so I looked in the Tassajara Bread Book (which Julia gave us for times like these) and voìla, we immediately found a good-looking banana bread recipe.

George altered it a little and it was extremely extremely good. I brought some slices over to Jung Min and we nibbled it with her strong ginger tea; a fantastic combination. A few days later she requested the recipe, so here it is.

A note about why the Tassajara Break Book is THE bread book to own: it was written by hippies who frequently ran out of one ingredient or another, so it is filled with suggestions for substitutions. These substitutions always work well. Despite all this helpfulness, the Bread Book is actually a very slim volume. And it has nice drawings in it, like Mollie Katzen's Moosewood Cookbook does.

Chocolate Hazelnut Banana Bread

2 Cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 Cup canola oil (or butter)
1/2 Cups sugar (or honey)
2 eggs, beaten
2 overripe bananas, peeled and mashed
1/2 Cup chopped hazelnuts
1/2 Cup chocolate chips -- chop them if they're too big. We used 60% bittersweet chips.

1. Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a bread loaf pan (I used grapeseed oil spray and it worked super well).
2. In one bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.
3. In a much bigger bowl, mix together oil and sugar. Add egg. Add a third of the sifted ingredients, mix, then a third of the banana pulp, mix, then another third of the sifted ingredients, mix, then another third of the banana pulp, mix, until it's all over.
4. Gently fold in the hazelnuts and chocolate chips.
5. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in comes out dry (this doesn't include the chocolate, which will be gooey).
6. Let it cool in the pan for 5 minutes then turn it out onto a bread board and start sawing away.


Claryn said...

Ugh, this sounds fantastic. Three of my favorite things -- chocolate, hazelnut, and banana bread. I am going to have to try and veganize this once I get my hands on some hazelnuts!

Also, I find having a dozen possible substitutions really helpful, even if it makes the printed recipe a bit unwieldy. Experimenting is what cooking is all about, right?

Sarah said...

I've read that you can use blended flax seeds mixed with water to imitate egg. Also maybe chia seeds.

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