Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Graham Flour Banana Bread

This is a recipe I have been anticipating for a while now. I wanted to make it the first time I saw it on Peabody's site several weeks ago -- but first I had to buy graham flour. I went to my regular Safeway and couldn't find it. No worries, we also shop at an Organic Market every week, they were sure to have it -- but alas, no. I also checked my local Shoppers Food Warehouse which has an extensive collection of specialty flours and organic products, but they didn't have it either. Whole Foods was a no-go as well.

Well crap. I did some research on graham flours and found conflicting information. Most sites said that whole wheat flour was also considered graham flour, but I double-checked what Peabody said, and she insisted that if you just substituted whole wheat you wouldn't get the same thing. Wikipedia explained it a bit better -- "Rather than simply grinding the whole grain wheat kernel (bran, germ, and endosperm), in graham flour the components are ground separately. The endosperm is ground finely, initially creating white flour. The bran and germ are ground coarsely. The two parts are then mixed back together, creating a coarse-textured flour that bakes and keeps well."

Despite my grocery store strike outs, I wasn't completely frustrated because we live in the Internet age and I knew I could order some online if push came to shove... but then I kept putting it off. And then... as if the foodie gods were smiling at me... a Harris Teeter opened up in the next town over. Not only did they have stone ground graham flour, but they also had heath chips (something my usual stores don't carry), White Lilly flour, and White Lilly Corn Bread mix. Score!

So, was the wait worth it? Absolutely. The bread is soft and grainy with a nice texture from the corn-meal like consistency of the flour. Unlike most breads made from whole wheat flour, this bread doesn't have that dry, "good-for-you" flavor to it... you know, the one that makes you say "well, yeah it's okay" and then you quickly add "it tastes great for something that's semi healthy." This bread doesn't have that problem. It's just plain good. Oh, and it happens to be pretty good for you. (or at least not terribly bad for you.)

I ran the recipe ingredients through a calorie counter, and based on 12 servings (from an 8x4 loaf) each serving has 242 calories and 2 g fiber, which isn't too bad for a snack. Granted, it also has 13 g of fat per serving, but this is something the biscuitpusher made we're talking about, and I'm not known for low-calorie, healthy treats. :)

Adapted from a recipe on Culinary Concoctions by Peabody

1/3 cup shortening(don’t use butter…it isn’t the same in this recipe) I used butter flavored shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla

1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 cup graham flour

3/4 cup all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 cup or more of chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F

In a large bowl cream together the shortening and sugars. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the bananas and vanilla and mix until incorporated.

Sift together the flours, baking soda, salt, baking powder and add to creamed mixture. Stir until mixed. Stir in the walnuts.

Pour into well greased (and lightly floured) 8 x4 pan. Bake for around 45 minutes -- check it after 40 and then add time as needed.


Peabody said...

Wow, you went through a lot to get that flour. So glad it was worth it!

burkie said...

absolutely worth it. the texture was grainy & nutty, but moist and flavorful. thumbs up!

Mira said...

hahaha i was going to recommend you check out the new harris teeter, but i see that you already have! russ is itching to get out there, too. though why, i'm not quite sure, since he doesn't actually cook. :)

i really really liked the banana bread, too! :D

Leslie said...

Looks super good...I should try this the next time I make nanna bread