The cool, rainy, dreary weather created an irresistible urge to play in the kitchen… As I went through my cookbooks, I found a little book my mother put together a few years ago, containing several of my grandmother’s favorite dessert recipes. Her banana bread was always delicious, and I luckily had a few overripe bananas on hand.
I also have a variety of flours I’ve been wanting to experiment with. I stocked up on almond, millet, quinoa, and other types of gluten-free flours awhile ago for a few different cookbook recipes. So instead of using the all-purpose flour the recipe called for, I created my own flour combination. Regular wheat flour (all-purpose flour) is made by grinding roots and grains together, and each gluten-free flour is a particular kind of grain, starch, bean, or nut. They taste best when a few are combined together.
I chose quinoa, millet, and buckwheat flours for a few simple reasons. I never tried quinoa or buckwheat flours, and I had just a little bit of millet leftover. I also wanted to use millet flour because it’s slightly sweet and adds a crumbly texture to baked goods. Quinoa flour was an easy choice because I’ve seen several recipes for cakes and cupcakes that use it, and I read that buckwheat flour pairs great with chocolate. (Have to love anything that pairs well with chocolate!)
Back to Mama’s recipe. The first ingredient – 1/2 cup of shortening. That was quickly replaced with a 1/2 stick of unsalted butter. The 2 cups of all-purpose flour was replaced with 2/3 cups of each gluten-free flour. Chocolate isn’t in her original recipe, but I had a bag of semi-sweet chips on hand, so why not add that too?
The first attempt was pretty decent. The loaf could have stayed in the oven for another 10 minutes – it took a lot longer to bake than what Mama’s recipe instructed. It also came out really sweet, and a bit dense for my liking. So I tried again. I cut down the sugar from 1 1/2 cups to 1 cup, and traded in the semi-sweet chocolate chips for dark chocolate. I also made sure the butter was at room temperature before mixing it in with the sugar, and mixed it for a lot longer than what I did the first time around. (It took about 6-7 minutes for the sugar and butter to cream together.)
The result was much better the second time around. While banana bread isn’t meant to be light and spongy, it came out less dense than the first loaf. Cutting down the sugar and changing the chocolate was another good call. This is a rich bread – not a super sweet cake. That, and dark chocolate rules. Enjoy the weekend!
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup sour milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅔ cup quinoa flour
- ⅔ cup millet flour
- ⅔ cup buckwheat flour
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2-3 mashed ripe bananas
- 1 11.5 package of extra dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- To make sour milk, add 1 teaspoon of vinegar to the ¼ cup of milk.
- Prepare the flour mixture - in a bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients until well combined.
- In a separate large mixing bowl, mix together the butter and sugar.
- Beat in the eggs, then add the sour milk and vanilla. Mix until everything is combined.
- Continuing to mix the wet ingredients, gradually add the dry.
- Once the dry ingredients are fully mixed in, add the bananas.
- Pour in the chocolate chips and fold into the batter.
- Line a 5" x 9" loaf pan with parchment paper, and pour the mixture in.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour 30 minutes.