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Bread Challenge, Week 3: Banana-Chocolate-Walnut Bread

January 16, 2012

Frankly, I’m surprised it took me three whole weeks to make bread that contains chocolate.

Since my challenge did not specify what *kinds* of breads I’d be making – this was deliberate – I felt I was free to dabble in quick breads almost right away. I’m partial to banana bread especially, for personal reasons. And finding one that includes walnuts and chocolate, too – well, you had me at hello.

This is a pretty easy recipe, and yields great results. As always, my comments and adjustments are in blue. Recipe and photos after the jump.

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Banana Chocolate Walnut Bread (you can find a printable version here)

  • 1 ½ cups mashed ripe banana
  • 1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt (Greek yogurt works!)
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 6 3/4 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 ½ cups, but weighing is more accurate)
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate minichips, divided
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • Cooking spray (I don’t use cooking spray; I greased the pan with good old fashioned butter)
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free milk (I had vanilla almondmilk on hand; it worked fine)

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 350°
  • Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until blended. Add sugars; beat until blended

This is what the wet mixture looks like, before adding dry ingredients

  • Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl; stir well with a whisk. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended
  • Fold 1/3 cup minichips and nuts into batter; pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.

In the pan...

  • Bake at 350° for 55 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; cool completely on wire rack
  • Combine remaining 1/3 cup minichips and milk in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave at HIGH for 30 seconds, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over bread.

Everything is better with chocolate. Yes, it is.

Results:

  • Pretty much perfect. My only issue was with the chocolate glaze – it’s pretty thin, and didn’t harden up like I’d hoped. Its stickiness makes it adhere to the plastic wrap, and then it peels off when you unwrap it. It might be better to thin the chocolate with a teaspoon of shortening instead of milk.
  • A very easy, one-bowl recipe. Unless, like me, you decide to set up your mise en place by dirtying every prep bowl you own.
  • Oh, and did I mention it was absolutely delicious? I will be bringing it to work, because it’s really too dangerous to keep around the house.

Again, I’d like to mention that you can find a printable version of this recipe by clicking here. If you decide to make it yourself, please let me know what you think of the recipe and any thoughts you have about improving it.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Dick Shave permalink
    January 17, 2012 9:50 am

    Looks decadent! Quickbreads are breads, I say. Just barely, though, so watch yourself. Don’t go down that muffin path or you’ll start frosting my cupcakes….

    Here’s my suggestion: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/08/dining/081mrex.html

    to get you back to yeast.

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