Mile High Banana Bread

Baking with a Bad Altitude by Mike Wheaton : 

Everyone and their mother has a recipe for banana bread and many often claim that theirs is the best. I’ve had some great ones over the years and a few that didn’t live up to expectations. This recipe aims to please and best of all, it is developed to be baked at a mile high in the sky.

mile-high-banana-bread-by-mike-wheatonI’ve been making banana bread for as long as I can remember, and I don’t recall how I found my original recipe however I have changed it over the years. My original recipe called for brown sugar and one day while making a loaf, I noticed that I was out of it, so I simply used regular white sugar.  I never went back and now I only use the white stuff.  It seems to allow for more of the banana taste to come through.  Another adoption I made was using frozen bananas. While I don’t exactly put in the bananas in their frozen state, freezing them prior to thawing them out made a huge improvement. By freezing, it breaks down the cell structure providing for more smoothness with less lumps plus the peels provide a lot more banana taste.  I squeeze out every bit of juice that comes from the peels and vigorously whisk (or mash) the bananas to remove any lumps prior to incorporating them into the batter.

The following is my recipe for banana bread – baked at a mile high. It is rich, moist, and easy to make. Best of all this recipe can be changed into a low-fat option with just a couple of simple changes to the ingredients.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, softened (substitute banana flavored apple sauce for a lower-fat option)

1 cup white sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda (use 1 teaspoon at sea level, ½ teaspoon at 10’000 feet)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup sour cream (substitute non-fat Greek yogurt for a lower-fat option)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

1 cup of well mashed bananas (about 2-3 medium sized bananas). Freeze, thaw and then mash until smooth

frozen-bananas-for-banana-bread

parchment-lined-baking-dish-for-banana-bread

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×5 inch glass loaf pan with parchment paper (it makes it easier to remove the loaf from the pan once it has cooled).

In a large bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, mix well. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, stir into the butter mixture until smooth. Do not over mix

In a separate bowl, cream together the bananas with the sour cream, fold it into the batter along with the walnuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 15 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

About the Author

Mike Wheaton Colorado

Mike Wheaton got an early start to his culinary world. He was first taught to cook for himself at the age of 5 as his single mother would work both a day and a night job to support the family. By the age of 9, he would help earn money by busing tables and washing dishes at the local saloon where his mom worked. One day the cook failed to show up and Mike was tossed into the kitchen. It was an exhilarating experience for him and the owner soon learned that Mike had better talents than scrubbing dishes. Throughout the next decade he would go on to be promoted to every position of the food service industry for several different restaurants cumulating in a c-level position for a high-end national restaurant chain. Leveraging his past successes, he ultimately left the food service industry for more lucrative opportunities. Shortly after relocating to Denver from New York City in 2002, Mike started a successful restaurant marketing and consulting business which he still runs today. He is also a co-founder of Lonnie Metzler LLC. Aside from business, Mike is an amateur culinary artist who loves to create in the kitchen alongside his two young daughters.

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