Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sourdough Banana Bread

Just the other day there sat in my fruit bowl three over-ripe bananas.  Instead of throwing them out, I opted to make banana bread.  I'm sure many of you do the same!  Banana bread is inherently frugal because you traditionally use bananas that are just too mushy to eat--that you would otherwise throw away.  I love to "rescue" food, and I hate throwing away what could have been used. 

While there are a bazillion banana bread recipes out there, today I'm sharing with you one that's not so common--a sourdough version of banana bread.  The sourdough is used initially to raise the dough, then the rest of the ingredients are added and baking soda is used for the final rise during baking.  Why sourdough?  Well, I've written before about the wonderful benefits to slow-rising sourdough breads.  And don't let the title of "sourdough" scare you.  This recipe is easy-peasy! 

I like to bake it in a 9x13 glass baking dish for breakfasts.  I cut it into rectangles/squares like cake, slice in half and butter.  Delicious!  The sourdough aspect gives the banana bread a bit of a buttermilk-like tang. 

(Oh, and if you don't have sourdough starter, you can simply combine all the ingredients together, mix and bake according to the 2nd paragraph. You won't have a sourdough loaf of bread, but you'll still have a tasty loaf of homemade, all natural banana bread!)

Sourdough Banana Bread

Yields: One 9x13 "cake" or two 8-inch loaves.  In other words, enough for breakfast for a family of 2 adults + 3 kids, plus leftovers.

Cost: $5.64 (using all organic ingredients)

3 cups whole wheat flour (or 2 cups whole wheat, 1 cup white)
1 cup olive oil
1 cup water
1 T recently freshed sourdough starter

3 large eggs
1 cup sucanat
1 tsp unrefined salt
3 over-ripe bananas, or about 1.5 cups mashed
1 tsp baking soda

Mix the first 4 ingredients together in a glass bowl.  Cover with a dishtowel and let sit in a warm place 8-12 hours. The sourdough mixture should become puffy and raised.

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9x13 glass baking dish.  Uncover the glass bowl, and to the sourdough mixture add the rest of the ingredients.  Using a handmixer, mix until well-blended.  Pour batter into baking dish and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. 

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