Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fluffy and Moist Sour Cream Banana Bread (Whole Wheat option)

This morning, I volunteered for the "Breakfast for Learning Program" at my older kiddies' elementary school.   Through generous donations from the community, school and the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC), our children's school can offer a simple breakfast for those who come to school hungry.  The PAC helps purchase and provide juice, milk, yogurt, cereal bars, cinnamon buns and muffins.  Depending on the volunteer, someone can make pancakes or waffles for a hot breakfast!  

Since this was my first gig for the year, I simply set out the usual milk, fruit, juice and store bought bran muffins.  To test the waters, I also brought a batch of my sour cream whole wheat banana bread.  I made them into mini muffins, mini loaves and a big loaf.  I was OVERWHELMED by the response!  When I ran out of mini muffins, I cut up the last loaf and it was GONE IN SECONDS.  Wow.  

This is another one of those recipes that I have been using for over 10 years.  Great for gift-giving and Christmas.  I think the secret is the moistness and fluffiness from the sour cream. 

What can a creative mom do to get school kids try whole wheat banana bread?  For marketing purposes, I added some chocolate chip garnish, so they can try my home baked goodies.  And sprinkled a wee bit of cinnamon sugar on top... I got rave reviews!!!  No one noticed that I used half whole wheat flour in the recipe.  

Fluffy and Moist Sour Cream Banana Bread
makes 4- 7"x3" loaf pans

3/4 cup butter (I used non-hydrogenated soft margarine)
3 cups white sugar (I decreased to 2 1/2 cups)
3 eggs
6 very ripe bananas, mashed (I used 5 large ripe bananas)
1 (16 ounce/2 cup) container sour cream (I have used light sour cream, plain yogurt and combination of both)
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3 tsp baking soda
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (2 cups whole wheat flour + 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour)
1 cup chopped walnuts, optional (I used chocolate chips in the batter + on top instead)

Preheat oven to 300F.  Grease four 7x3 inch loaf pans.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar.  Mix in eggs, mashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla and cinnamon.  Mix in salt, baking soda and flour.  Stir in nuts (or chocolate chips, if desired). Divide into prepared pans.

Bake for 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Note:  I have baked this as mini muffins, muffins, mini loaves and in loaf pans.  It is a very flexible recipe that can handle substitutions and changes, if needed.  I have also baked this at 350F for mini muffins and mini loaves.  Please check the times accordingly so you don't overbake!  

Mini muffins made without any nuts or chocolate chips. 

I had to promise the school kids that I will bring more next time!  I couldn't cut my last loaf fast enough for them!  That is the biggest form of flattery for this mom!  They really made my day.

Have a wonderful day!

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