Banana Bread, Circa New Deli 1985

“WAY-BACK WEDNESDAY”: We used to make this recipe thirty-some years ago, when “The New Deli” was just a small wholesale sandwich business operating out of our home kitchen. We enjoyed many an end piece of this bread (as did our then-toddler son); we wrapped up buttered slices to ship out to health food stores in the Bay Area, under the name “Foods for Thought”. We were just a couple of hippies at the time, with a little “grass-roots”, home-style food business.

Three years into that, we realized we should become legit. And so The New Deli was birthed!

Whole Wheat Banana Bread of New Deli FameWe used to grind our own whole wheat flour to make goodies like this for our fledgling food business, back in the eighties. I loved that we were giving people a fresh-ground flour, complete with nutrients (vitamin E, etc.), that hadn’t gone rancid sitting on some store shelf.

When the flour grinder finally busted, I learned that I could sub a good organic unbleached flour for the whole wheat flour. Using a small electric coffee/spice grinder, I could add fresh-ground flax seed, and we could still get those good essential oils in the mix. With a bit of bran added as well, it seemed we had the next-best-thing to fresh-ground flour!

This recipe was always popular, putting ripe bananas to good use. Ripe bananas can even store in the refrigerator for up to a week, until one is ready to make this recipe. Makes 2 8″ loaves.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 3/4 c. walnuts
  • 1 c. brown sugar or palm sugar
  • Slightly rounded 2 TBS. molasses
  • 2 1/4 c. whole wheat flour (3/4 lb.)*
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 c. mashed, ripe bananas (about 4-5 ripe bananas; over a lb. to start)
  • 2 eggs
  • Optional: 2 TBS. flax seed, ground into meal in small coffee/spice grinder

PREPARATION

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or oil 8″ bread pan.

2. Toast in oven 8-10 minutes until golden: > 1 3/4 c. walnuts

3. Into a mixer bowl, blend together: > 1 c. brown sugar > slightly rounded 2 TBS. molasses > 2 1/4 c. fresh-ground wheat flour > 1/2 tsp. salt > 1 tsp. baking soda > optional: 2 TBS. flax seed, ground into meal in small coffee/spice grinder

4. Set the above mix aside. In separate bowl, use a potato masher to “puree” the banana, or process lightly in blender until medium-smooth: > 1 1/2 c. mashed, ripe bananas (about 4-5 ripe bananas; over a pound to start)

5. Stir into the mashed banana: > 2 eggs

6. To the bowl of banana and egg, add and mix in gently (not over-mixing): > The sugar/flour mixture > The toasted walnuts

7. Pour batter into pan, bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes, until toothpick in center comes out clean. Let rest 20 minutes or so before removing from pan and serving.

* Fresh-ground flour is preferred, as whole wheat flour will otherwise go rancid in less than a week. But use these amounts to sub for the 2 1/4 c. whole wheat flour, if necessary: > 1 2/3 c. all-purpose flour > 1/3 c. wheat bran > 2 TBS. flax seed, ground into meal in small coffee/spice grinder

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