Light Banana Bread

Baking is not my first line of work in the kitchen. Often it falls to my trustworthy husband. He’s the king of banana bread. In fact, he made the pictured loaf. He gets excited if there are left over brown bananas at the end of the week. He’s tried several light or lean recipes and this one from America’s Test Kitchen has become the standard in our house. Why light? Often quick breads like banana bread contain lots of sugar and butter, thus making them a dessert bread in my mind. This recipe cuts back on both and includes yogurt and cake flour to help make it moist and delicious. We like to eat banana bread for breakfast so having a leaner version is a great way to start the day.

Ripe bananas can be hard to time to make this recipe. There are two solutions to that. One is when you have ripe bananas and no time to bake, simply peal them and put them in a freezer zip bag and freeze them. Take them out and defrost before baking. A second work around is to roast a unripe banana in it’s peel for 15 mins at 350 degrees. A ripened banana adds a lot of sweetness but also moisture.

All I have left to say is make a double batch – it’s that good!

Light Banana Bread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cake flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 very ripe bananas, mashed very well (1 1/2 cups)
1/4 cup plain lowfat yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs

1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat a 9×5 inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray.

2. Whisk the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, salt, and 1/4 cup of sugar together in a medium bowl. Whisk the mashed bananas, yogurt and vanilla together in a separate bowl.

3. Beat the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and butter together in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.

4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add in one-third of the flour mixture until just combined, followed by one- third banana mixture. Repeat this process twice more, alternating between flour and banana mixtures. Do not overmix (the batter will look thick and chunky).

5. Scrape batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 55 minutes.

Light Banana Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed very well (1½ cups)
  • ¼ cup plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
Instructions
  1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350degrees. Generously coat a 9x5 inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray.
  2. Whisk the all-purpose flour, cake flour, baking soda, salt, and ¼ cup of sugar together in a medium bowl. Whisk the mashed bananas, yogurt and vanilla together in a separate bowl.
  3. Beat the remaining ¼ cup of sugar and butter together in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time until combined, about 30 seconds, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.
  4. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly add in one-third of the flour mixture until just combined, followed by one- third banana mixture. Repeat this process twice more, alternating between flour and banana mixtures. Do not overmix (the batter will look thick and chunky).
  5. Scrape batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 55 minutes.

 

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