Sane Banana Bread

This past weekend, we drove up to my parent’s house so that we could attend the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.  I knew getting into D.C. was going to be a MESS, but my awesome parents kindly offered to help us get to and from the metro.  We didn’t realize just how difficult of a task this would be, but we soon found out that the normal time it takes to drive to the metro station was tripled due to traffic.  In anticipation of the inconvenience we were causing them, I came equipped with a THANK YOU gift.  This banana bread recipe is yet another hit from Carol Gelles’ 1,000 Vegetarian Recipes cookbook.

Can anybody explain to me the difference between all purpose and whole wheat flour?  This is the second recipe I’ve baked that contains whole wheat flour and I’m curious why it isn’t used more often.  Can it completely substitute all purpose flour?  Or will that make it too dense?


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan (I used my square one).
  2. Mix in one bowl: flours, baking powder and soda, salt.
  3. In second bowl: cream butter and sugar.  Add egg and mix.  Add honey.
  4. Beat in banana alternately with flour mix.
  5. Bake for 40 min.

I have not yet mastered the art of the cooling time.  Exactly how long am I supposed to leave the bread on the rack to cool?  If I store it too soon, the tupperware gets steamy (even though it feels like it cooled off!).  If I store it after leaving it to sit too long, I worry that it’s going to get stale.  Does anybody know?  Help?  Please?  The apprentice needs to know!

I may or may not have let it sit too long, but it still turned out delicious.  No walnuts in this one due to allergies but it still came out delicious!  Yet another lightly flavored ( it wasn’t too sweet) bread that the taste testers enjoyed.  Dad went back for seconds and Ian asked if we could make another bread once we got home.  I’m in love with this cookbook so far!

Posted on November 2, 2010, in Dessert and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Yay, another banana bread recipe to try! Re switching whole wheat for AP, I’m not a baking expert, but the answer tends to be “it depends” 🙂 Whole wheat pastry flour is lighter/softer than whole wheat flour so I think you can use more of it in place of AP flour. But I wouldn’t use all whole wheat flour unless you’re using a recipe designed that way – whole wheat flour tends to lead to a dryer/coarser end product that won’t rise as high and you might have to adjust the cooking time as well.

    • Apicius' Apprentice

      Ah ha. I see. So that’s why these recipes have both? The AP is needed to help the bread to fluff up? Does the WW just add fiber? Thank you so much for the answer Mary! And thank you for stopping by my blog 🙂

  2. It’s rare that you’ll find a bread recipe that calls for all whole wheat flour as it is too dense and crumbly on its own. You need something finer and lighter to bind, blend, and help it all rise better. I sometimes experiment to find where that edge is in each recipe by changing up the ratio of whole wheat to regular, but I never go too far off the recommended beaten path;)

    Cooling time is tricky when you’re trying to store something away in Tupperware. I always err on the side of “really really cooled off”, as opposed to “still possibly a little warm”, because it takes a long time for the baked good to become stale from just sitting on a wire rack. It’d have to sit for a good day or so in my opinion. But if you pack it too soon in Tupperware, it gets sweaty and soggy and often takes on the taste of the plastic it’s stored in. Yuck;)

    That’s my chapter book of advice on baking;)

    • Apicius' Apprentice

      WOW! This is exactly why this blogging experience has been so wonderful. This kind of advice helps more than you know!! That’s really good to know about the density that wheat flour causes. As for the cooling time, in what do you store your baked goods? I’ve noticed the steamy sweaty thing happening, but aside from cooling it all day, I’m not sure what to do! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your wisdom Joslyn!

  3. This banana bread looks so good and the WW Flour makes it a bit healthier. That cookbook sounds like it’s a good book to have. I don’t know much about baking but whole wheat flour will make denser baked goods and it doesn’t rise as well as all purpose flour. Perhaps that is why it isn’t used as often. Even so called whole wheat breads are about 1/2 or even less of whole wheat flour. I use the two websites for good advice, and . Have a great weekend!

    • Apicius' Apprentice

      Nancy! GENIAL! I haven’t been to either of those sites, and they really are a run down on the basics. I didn’t know that whole wheat breads had only 1/2 of WW flour in them! I learn something everyday 🙂 The cookbook really has been awesome so far. I’m really excited to keep attempting its scrumptious recipes. I hope your week went well!

  4. Getting caught up, here…. and I’m so glad to see this post! I have a little collection of everybody’s best banana bread recipe because for some reason I can never find the recipe when I happen to have bananas, so I’m always having to email somebody to ask for one.

    All whole wheat flour is too heavy.

    And if the bread seems to get stale, which I don’t think it will, stick it in a tupperware thing with a cut-up apple.

    This seems like a great recipe – I’m going to try this!


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