After buying slice after slice of banana bread from my neighborhood coffee shop (disclaimer: mornings are often a little rushed around here, and those slices are oh so convenient and wholesome), I vowed to make a loaf or two of my own.
Maybe it was the anticipation of the baking endeavor, or maybe it was the desire to make a dent in my pantry, but I may have gone a tad overboard on fillings: flax, figs, hazelnuts and chocolate chips! As I often decalre, there’s no “less” in “Quelcy,” which is to say, minimalism is not my strong suit.
While the flavors work, I would advise you to do as I say and not as I did when it comes to the figs and hazelnuts. I should have chopped the hazelnuts and sliced the figs into much smaller chunks. This would have balanced the flavors more in each bite. Alas, lesson learned, but luckily, not at too high of a price. This bread is still a great breakfast slice, especially when paired with cardamom browned butter!
Whole Wheat Banana Bread w/ A LOT of Fixin’s
Yield: makes 2 loaves
2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 cup flax seeds (I used the Golden Roasted ones from Trader Joe’s)
1 cup pure cane sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 1-1½ cups), with a few slices reserved for the top
1/4 cup organic sour cream
2 large organic eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup (1 stick) organic, unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup hazelnuts, chopped
1 cup organic, semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 dried Turkish Smryna Figs, sliced into small chunks
Additional Flax seeds for the tops of the loaves
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut out a piece of parchment paper the length of the loaf pan and about 3x the width. Oil or butter the loaf pan, and then place the parchment with edges hanging over the side of the loaf pan.
Whisk together the flour, flax, sugar, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl; set aside.
Mix the mashed bananas, water, eggs, butter, and vanilla together in a medium bowl.
Fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a spatula until just combined.
Fold in hazelnuts, chocolate chips and figs.
Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the surface with the spatula. Sprinkle additional flax seeds on the surface.
Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes.
Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then lift the banana bread out of the pan with the parchment paper. Allow to cool fully on a wire rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature.