Exciting news all around: I’m back to baking! I’ve missed having the time and the creativity to whip up some deliciousness in the kitchen, so I’m going overboard with it now.
But first: Friday was my last day at Wolf Creek as assistant brewer. While I had a wonderful few months there hauling grain, scrubbing out mash tuns, brewing delicious beer and having some awesome bragging rights, I truly missed being able to connect with those drinking the beer and being able to explain to them why the beer they were tasting had that citrus or banana aroma, or how adding the hops earlier in the boil makes the beer more bitter, or urging them to visit all the local craft breweries that Southern California boasts to expand their horizons and open their minds and steins to the beauty of the beer. That was a ridiculously long sentence.
A few weeks ago I was at Enegren during the middle of the day when a group happened to swing by. There were beer distributors in this group – something I’ve been wanting to do for the past two years. I asked how they got into distribution, they asked me if I was interested and told me they were looking to hire a craft beer specialist and I had an interview the following week. Beginning October 1st I’ll be working with this distribution company and eventually/hopefully bringing the awesomeness of local craft beer to bars and restaurants in SoCal.
NOW back to baking! I’ve recently begun a new workout regime AND eating healthy. I was perusing the interwebs for banana bread that had no sugar, made a recipe that totally flopped, decided to make modifications and came up with this cake bread.
Whole Wheat Sugarless Banana Cake Bread
(Adapted from Healthy Banana Bread)
Don’t be scared: There’s no artificial sugar here and as long as you’re not expecting traditional buttery, extremely sweet banana bread, you’ll survive.
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/3 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup golden raisins
5 bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place the golden raisins in a small bowl and cover with hot water, and let sit for 10-15 minutes.
3. In a medium bowl add the mashed bananas, vanilla extract and eggs and stir until combined.
4. In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.
5. Drain the raisins and chop finely.
6. Add the raisins to the dry ingredients.
7. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
8. Pour the batter into a pre-greased 9×9 inch pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
The riper the bananas, the better. I had a craving for banana bread and just couldn’t wait.
Drain ‘em! Chop ‘em!
Stir the raisin bits into the dry ingredients.
Pour the banana mixture on top of the dry ingredients.
Stir until just combined. Do not overstir or you’ll get tough, unfluffy bread cake! That would be disastrous.
Spread into a pre-greased pan. You could probably put this in a loaf pan as well, but the baking time will vary.
Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let sit for 5-10 minutes, or as long as you can hold out before slicing and diving in face first.
Again, my disclaimer: This is NOT your traditional sweet banana bread! It’s mildly sweet with little bursts of sweet sunshine from the rehydrated raisins, dense and chewy. I’ve been having a square of this with the rest of my healthy breakfast every morning.