Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Banana-Oat-Raisin Bread

Banana bread is one of my favorite things to bake. I love bananas and always have them on hand. If they ripen too quickly, I either freeze them for smoothies or use them to make a loaf of bread. This past weekend, I was looking for a banana bread recipe and pulled out the little recipe box my dad gave me when I was a teenager, which is when my interest in baking started. 

As I flipped through clippings and hand-written recipe cards, I found one for banana-oat-raisin bread. I can't recall the source, but it's a recipe I've made several times over the years. This time, I substituted gluten-free flour for wheat flour, and changed up the spices, increasing the amount of cinnamon and adding ginger, which I think improved upon an already great recipe. The use of oats and raisins give this bread a hearty texture that's perfect for breakfast. Give it a try using regular flour or gluten-free flour! My preference for gluten-free is Cup4Cup brand.

Banana-Oat-Raisin Bread

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup unsifted flour, or gluten-free flour such as Cup4Cup or King Arthur Measure for Measure (both contain xanthan gum)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1-1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (about 3 large bananas)
1/4 cup milk (I used 1% milk)
1 cup oats (if following a strict gluten-free diet, use gluten-free oats)
1/2 cup raisins

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x5-inch loaf pan with butter and set aside.

2) In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and ginger; set aside. In another bowl, combine mashed banana and milk; set aside.

3) In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter for about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes (at this stage, you cannot overbeat the butter and sugar mixture). Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

3) To the creamed butter and sugar, add the dry ingredients alternately with the banana-milk mixture, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Mix just until combined. Gently stir in the oats and raisins.

4) Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. Ovens vary, so check the bread about 10 minutes before the timer goes off; mine was done after 50 minutes, and, as you can see, was quite browned. Remove pan from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Turn bread out onto rack to cool completely.

Other banana bread recipes I've shared include banana-nut bread and an amazing chocolate banana bread. What do you add to your banana bread to make it extra special?

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