Banana Crunch Bread

I don’t know about you, but when summer rolls around, we go a little produce crazy and end up at the local farmer’s market each and every weekend. Right now our countertops are stacked with a beautiful array of local fruits and vegetables. Sometimes this makes it hard to keep up on our old grocery store standby fruits like bananas, and in our house, that can mean only one thing: banana bread time!

Banana Crunch Bread
When I was growing up, my mum pulled many of her classic recipes out of an old church cookbook. It’s everything you think of when you imagine a Minnesota church cookbook – casseroles, strange salads that don’t have any lettuce in them, and, best of all, delicious desserts like your grandmother used to make. Although the cookbook was published in 1981, most of the recipes are so classic they feel like they’re the quintessential recipe of their kind, and to me, this banana bread is no exception. This is a very dense bread, but the top develops a wonderful crunch rather than the stickiness so common in other banana bread recipes, which makes for a really pleasant contrast in texture.

I’ve modified my recipe from the original to include an extra banana (I had 6 that needed to be used ASAP because I was so busy munching on cherries instead) and tossed in a few chocolate chips for just a little added sweetness. For the nuts, the original doesn’t specify a particular type, and I had black walnuts on hand, but regular walnuts or pecans would go nicely as well.

Banana Crunch Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 bananas (overripe - black is a-ok!)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs (large)
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups ultragrain flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder (aluminum free if available)
  • 1/3 cup butter (melted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Optional

  • 1/2 cup black walnuts
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions

Mash bananas, Mix with sugar and eggs until light. Add milk. Sift together flour, salt, soda and baking powder and add to banana mixture. Stir in melted butter, vanilla, nuts, and chocolate chips.
Bake at 350 in a 9 1/2 x 5 1/2 loaf pan. Cool overnight before slicing.

Recipe and photographs from Mayhem in the Kitchen!
http://www.mayheminthekitchen.com/banana-crunch-bread/

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