Baker’s Banana-Nut Bread

Yes! Another sourdough recipe- all so good! I love that this recipe combines two of the most popular items to bake during this period of self-isolation- sourdough and banana bread. 🙂

This recipe was adapted from theperfectloaf.com. I incorporated whole wheat flour, added turbinado sugar to the topping, and baked the loaf in a Pullman loaf pan, adjusting the baking time accordingly. I loved that this version included olive oil for moisture and honey for sweetness. Lovely.

We ate it as-is, but the original recipe recommends spreading full-fat Greek yogurt over the top of each slice.

Yield: One standard or Pullman loaf

  • 240g (2 cups) spelt, whole wheat, all-purpose flour, or a mix
  • 3g (1/2 teaspoon) baking soda
  • 3g (1/2 teaspoon) sea salt
  • 125g (1 cup) chopped walnuts or pecans, divided
  • 126g(1/2 cup or 1 stick) butter, at room temperature
  • 100g (1/2 cup lightly packed) brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125g (3/4 cup, stirred down) sourdough starter
  • 42g (2 tablespoons) raw honey
  • 3 super ripe medium mashed bananas (almost black and mushy)
  • 28g (2 tablespoons) extra virgin olive oil
  • 4g (1 teaspoon) vanilla
  • zest of 1 lemon, optional
  • turbinado sugar, for topping, optional
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ÂşF, preferably on convection.
  2. Coat a 9×5-inch loaf pan or Pullman loaf pan with cooking oil spray.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
  4. In a small bowl, mix a handful of chopped walnuts or pecans and a teaspoon or two of turbinado sugar. Set aside to be used as the topping later.
  5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time. While mixing, scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  7. Add in sourdough starter, honey, mashed bananas, and olive oil.
  8. Add in the vanilla.
  9. Add the flour mixture slowly, pausing to scrape down the sides if necessary.
  10. By hand, fold in the remaining walnuts or pecans and lemon zest.
  11. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
  12. Sprinkle on the reserved chopped nuts and sugar.
  13. Bake for 45-50 minutes in a Pullman loaf pan or 55-65 minutes in a standard loaf pan. (It’s better to undercook this than overcook: you want it moist.)
  14. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then gently remove onto a wire rack to thoroughly cool.

Note: This banana bread will stay moist for days after baking, but be sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container to prevent moisture loss.

English Muffin Bread

I have another special breakfast to share. Having a treat to start the day brings a little sunshine. 🙂

I am not really a bread person, but I do really enjoy English muffins. I often have a whole wheat “British muffin” from Trader Joe’s for breakfast. Naturally, this bread full of nooks and crannies caught my eye.

The recipe is from Shauna Sever’s Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland. It is easy and relatively quick to prepare, with only one rising time. She suggests baking the loaf in a German Rehrucken (crimp loaf pan) or standard loaf pan. I baked the loaf in my favorite Pullman loaf pan and modified the baking time accordingly.

The original recipe recommends making it a day ahead to serve it toasted the next day. We ate warm from the oven, slathered with salted Irish butter and our homemade strawberry-vanilla bean jam. We did toast the leftovers! Perfect.

Yield: One loaf

  • nonstick cooking spray, for pan
  • 3 T (30 g) yellow cornmeal, divided
  • 2 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) warm water (110° to 115°F/43° to 46°C)
  • 3 tsp granulated sugar, divided
  • 3 cups (384 g) unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup (225 g) well-shaken buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 T plus 1 tsp (32 g) vegetable oil (I used canola oil)
  • 1 T unsalted butter, melted
  1. Lightly spray a 9×5-inch (23×12.7 cm) metal loaf pan, German Rehrucken crimp loaf pan, or Pullman loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Wipe away any excess that pools in the edges.
  2. Dust the pan all over with about 2 tablespoons of cornmeal; tap out the excess.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the yeast, warm water, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Let rest for a couple of minutes.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whisk together the flour, the remaining 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  5. On low-speed, stir in the buttermilk, oil, and finally the yeast mixture. Mix until incorporated. (It is very important that the buttermilk is at room temperature so that the dough can rise well.)
  6. Increase the speed to high and mix for 1 minute, stopping halfway through to scrape down the bowl. The dough will be soft and sticky.
  7. Scrape the dough into the prepared pan.
  8. Oil your hands lightly and pat the dough gently and evenly into the pan.
  9. Sprinkle the top with the remaining tablespoon of cornmeal.
  10. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled and the dough comes about 1 inch from the top of the pan, about 1 hour. (I used a proofing oven.)
  11. During the rise, position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat it to 400°F/200°C.
  12. Bake the bread until golden and risen, with a hollow sound when tapped int he center, 22 to 25 minutes for a standard or crimped loaf pan, or 18 to 20 minutes for a Pullman loaf pan. The internal temperature should register at least 190°F/88°C on an instant-read thermometer.
  13. Turn out the bread onto a wire rack. Brush lightly all over with the melted butter. (I only brushed the top.)
  14. Let cool completely before slicing- if you can wait!

Banana Bread with Crunchy Sugar Topping

I have one more recipe to share from the special baking book, Midwest Made: Big, Bold Baking from the Heartland by Shauna Sever. (for now!) In the book, this recipe is titled “The Only Banana Bread You’ll Ever Need.” That is a little over the top for me- I always welcome new recipes for banana bread. 🙂

In this version, the super moist bread is topped with crunchy, snowy granulated sugar. The sugar is dampened and clumped together before sprinkling it over the prepared batter. I had never used this technique and I loved it. The topping looked beautiful and had a wonderful contrasting texture.

I weighed the bananas and all of the dry ingredients. I modified the recipe by baking it in a Pullman loaf pan, adjusting the baking time accordingly. We loved it!

Yield: One loaf, Serves 8 to 10

  • nonstick cooking spray for the pan
  • 1 3/4 cups (400g) mashed, very ripe bananas (I used 3 1/2 bananas)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 T (196g) firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (112g) vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup (75g) well-shaken buttermilk, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 T dark rum, optional (I omitted it)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 2 T (272g) unbleached all-purpose flour, spooned & leveled
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3 T (38g) granulated sugar, for sprinkling
  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat it to 325 degrees, preferably on convection.
  2. Spray a 9×5-inch or Pullman loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray and line it with parchment paper with a couple of inches of overhang on the long sides. Lightly coat the parchment with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the mashed bananas, brown sugar, oil, buttermilk, eggs, rum (if using), and vanilla.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet and fold until just blended.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Place the granulated sugar in a small bowl.
  8. Using your fingertips, sprinkle water over the top of the sugar. Work the water into the sugar, pinching it together, until it begins to resemble snow. (It should barely hold together when it is pinched together.) To add additional water, sprinkle water over the top using the opposite (clean) hand.
  9. Sprinkle the dampened sugar over the batter, aiming to get it clumped up together in spots.
  10. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes in a Pullman pan or 60 to 70 minutes in a standard loaf pan.
  11. Let cool for 20 minutes in the pan, then use the parchment paper to lift the loaf out of the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

Note: Bread can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap and/or placed in an airtight container, for up to 5 days.

Pullman Loaf

IMG_2898

I am obsessed with my Pullman loaf pan- I just love the shape and the resulting presentation. 🙂 I have been using it for quick breads and had yet to use it with the lid. With the lid in place, the resulting bread has an almost square shape. It was crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, and, of course, pretty! This recipe was adapted from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook; I adapted the cooking times for a convection oven. We ate it with Greek Red Lentil Soup but had plenty of leftovers for sandwiches.

I’m bringing this beauty to share at Angie’s Fiesta Friday #58 over at the Novice Gardener- Enjoy!

Yield: One 12 or 13-inch loaf (depending on pan size)

  • 1 1/2 pounds bread flour, plus more for dusting (about 4 1/2 cups)
  • 3 1/2 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 T coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 T granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 2 T unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water (about 110 degrees)
  • vegetable oil or cooking spray for the bowl and pan
  1.  In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook, combine the flour, yeast, salt, sugar, dry milk, and butter.
  2. Add the warm water, and beat on low-speed until the dough is smooth, elastic, and uniform in color, about 5 minutes.
  3. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and finish kneading it by hand, about 5 times, making sure that all ingredients are fully incorporated and the dough forms a smooth ball.
  4. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. (I used a proofing drawer.)
  5. Punch down the dough. Pull the sides into the center. Invert the dough in the bowl, so that it rests smooth side up. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm place (proofing drawer) until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
  6. Generously brush a 12 or 13-inch Pullman loaf pan with vegetable oil or spray with cooking spray, making sure to undercoat the underside of the lid, as well as the bottom and sides of the pan. Set aside.
  7. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll or press out the dough into a 12-by-8-inch rectangle, with the long side facing you. Starting at the top, roll the dough toward you, gently pressing as you go to form a tight log. Pat the ends to make even. Gently roll the log back and forth to seal the final seam.
  8. Place the loaf, seam side down, in the prepared pan, and slide the lid three-quarters of the way closed. Let rise in a warm place (proofing drawer) until the dough is almost touching the lid, 45 to 60 minutes. (I let mine rise a little bit too long because the dough rose to touch the lid…) IMG_2693
  9. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees (convection).
  10. Close the lid completely and bake, rotating the pan halfway through, until the loaf is light golden brown, about 30 minutes (on convection) to 45 minutes in a standard oven. Reduce the temperature to 350 degrees, re-close the lid, and continue baking another 25 to 30 minutes.
  11. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. (The bread should have a hollow sound when tapped on the bottom. If not, continue baking, covered, checking at 5-minute intervals, until the crust is deep golden brown.)
  12. Remove bread from pan, and let cool completely before slicing. The bread can be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for up to 4 days.

IMG_2893

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

Skinny Whole Wheat Pumpkin-Chocolate Chip Bread

IMG_0684

Dave of Dave Bakes may not know this, but he convinced me that I needed a 13-inch Pullman loaf pan. 🙂 I couldn’t wait to ask for it for Christmas, so I bought one on Amazon. Yay! It is FABULOUS. I love it!! What a presentation (& shorter baking time!!). This “skinny” bread was its initiation into my kitchen! Nothing better than a surprise special weekday breakfast for the family (& excuse to use my new pan!).

This recipe was adapted from Chez Catey Lou. It was a moist, low-fat, and special autumn treat -especially with the chocolate chips.

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

IMG_0676

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (convection). Grease an 8×5-inch loaf pan. (or a 13x4x4-inch Pullman loaf pan)
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, whole wheat pastry flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugars, oil, and eggs until very well combined. Add pumpkin and yogurt and mix well.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  5. Pour the batter evenly into the loaf pan. Bake for 39 minutes (I started checking the loaf at 35 minutes) in the Pullman pan, on convection, or up to 45 – 55 minutes in a standard pan and/or oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

IMG_0677

One Year Ago:

Two Years Ago:

100% Whole Wheat Banana Bread Muffins

I woke up early and was excited that I had enough time to bake my ultra-ripe bananas into something tasty for breakfast. I had a recipe in mind from one of my favorite bakery cookbooks, but when I saw that more that 1 cup of butter was required for 12 muffins … I couldn’t do it! I quickly found this recipe for Whole Wheat Banana Bread in The King Arthur Flour 200th Anniversary Cookbook. Needing a break from my usual New York Times Banana Banana Bread, this sounded like a nice change of pace.

Because it was a school day, I baked the batter into muffins rather than bread to decrease the baking time (We are in a bit of a time crunch in the morning!). I also modified the recipe by adding the topping from the Banana Banana Bread because we love it so much. These muffins were incredible! I love that they contain 100% whole wheat flour and are still very moist and tender. I think this recipe will become my new stand-by banana bread.

Note: I clearly have a thing for banana muffins…. I have included not only the link above to my (previous) favorite banana bread, but links to several of my posts about other great banana muffins below. 🙂

Yield: Makes 12 standard muffins

For the Batter:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (I used 3 small)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional (or optional topping)

For the Topping:

  • 3 T chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 T turbinado sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until well blended and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add and beat together the eggs, bananas, and vanilla.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Blend the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients. Add walnuts, if desired.
  4. Pour this mixture into a greased, 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or a greased 12-cup muffin pan.
  5. Assemble the topping by combining the ingredients. Top each muffin with a generous spoonful, or sprinkle over the loaf.
  6. Bake until a toothpick in the center comes out clean, or with a couple of crumbs, about 40 to 45 minutes for a Pullman loaf, 60 minutes for a standard loaf, and 17 to 18 minutes for the muffins (on convection).

One Year Ago:

If you like this you may also like:

Banana Banana Bread


This is my gold standard banana bread recipe. For YEARS I made banana bread based on the recipe in the Moosewood cookbook. Surprisingly, I didn’t even experiment with any other recipe. When The New York Times published this recipe it caught my eye because it required so many bananas. Recently, I tried a few other recipes but no other one compares. This is the absolute BEST!

Yield: Makes 1 loaf

For the bread:

  • 1/4 pound (one stick) cool butter
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 1/3 cups (about 5-6 small) very ripe bananas
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (I often use 1/2 whole wheat flour)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp coarse salt

For the topping:

  • 3 T chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 1 T turbinato sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees (on convection). Lightly grease a 9×5 inch standard loaf pan or a 13×4 inch Pullman loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. Using an electric mixer, cream butter until smooth and fluffy. Add sugar and cream together 2 minutes more.
  3. One at a time, mix in eggs.
  4. Mix in bananas until only small lumps remain.
  5. Stir dry ingredients together and mix into banana mixture just until combined. Pour into prepared pan.
  6. Stir topping ingredients together and sprinkle over batter.
  7. Bake about 60 to 65 minutes for a standard loaf, or about 45 to 50 minutes for a Pullman loaf, until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
  8. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and let cool completely before wrapping tightly for storage.

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