I am a big fan of Banana Bread and Bran muffins. So, this spring, when I was baking bread (like the rest of the country in quarantine), I was wanting to find a way to merge the tastiness and resourcefulness of Banana Bread with the hearty, nutty, healthiness of Bran. I searched in many places for recipes and used some of my favorite elements of my bran and banana muffin/bread recipes before arriving at this recipe that I think is a keeper.
Unbeknownst to me there was a shortage of available bran for purchase! It was nowhere to be found. Yeast became scarce, alongside toilet paper and cleaning supplies, but bran seems more obscure of an item to be unavailable. We searched and searched- there was none in the grocery stores, not on Bob’s Red Mill website, it was even sold out on Amazon. I finally found it on a farm website, whose backorder was the least long of a wait. I bought a couple of bags and when the bran arrived, the banana bran loaf making resumed. Not to dread though, dear reader, bran is back on the shelves so I can post this in good conscience.
This recipe is healthyish- with yogurt substituted for 1/2 of the butter- my favorite substitute for lightening up the fat content.
(Makes 1 large loaf)
4 Tbsp. softened butter
4 Tbsp. plain yogurt
½ cup brown sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed
¼ cup buttermilk (or milk + a tsp. of lemon juice or white vinegar if no buttermilk on hand)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour (or a mixture of white and wheat)
1 cup wheat bran (Like Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
a few Tbsp. turbinado (raw) sugar for topping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease loaf pan (and if able, place parchment in pan with sides hanging over. Grease parchment as well.
In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter, yogurt and brown sugar (it’s okay if it’s lumpy). Add bananas, buttermilk, vanilla, and eggs; mix well. Str in flour, bran, baking powder, soda and salt; Blend just until moistened. Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle turbinado sugar generously over the top surface area of the batter.
Bake at 375˚ for 38-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5-10 minute, then remove (using the parchment sides to remove it) and cool completely on wire rack.
Slice and serve (with a smear of butter if you like).
If you want, feel free to add in mix-ins of chopped nuts or dried fruit.