Apr 7, 2009

Banana Gingerbread

Whenever I have some over-ripe bananas, my favorite thing to make with them is Banana Gingerbread. I came across this recipe some time ago on one of my Favorite "Foodie" Blogs, Baking Bites. This bread is moist, spicy, and not too sweet. I've added a light glaze, which makes it even yummier, but you could leave it plain, or sprinkle the top with coarse sugar before baking. The recipe calls for buttermilk, which I don't usually have, so I substitute plain yogurt, thinned with a little milk. Or you can mix 1-1/2 teaspoons of vinegar or lemon juice plus enough milk to measure 1/2 cup. Stir, then let stand for 5 minutes. Here's the recipe:

Banana Gingerbread (adapted from Baking Bites)

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
pinch freshly ground nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup banana, mashed (about 2 large)
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup buttermilk (I substitute yogurt thinned with a little milk)
4 tbsp vegetable oil

Optional Glaze:
1-2 tablespoons orange juice
2 tsps orange zest
1 cup sifted powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. In a medium bowl, whisk together brown sugar, banana, molasses, buttermilk and vegetable oil. Pour into dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour into prepared pan (and sprinkle with coarse sugar, if desired.) Bake for about 45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Makes 1 loaf, 8-10 slices.

When cool, prepare glaze, if using. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the orange juice, the orange zest, and the powdered sugar, adding a little more juice if necessary to obtain a smooth consistency. Drizzle over top of loaf.