Monday, January 23, 2012

cooking challenge week 3: whole wheat and millet banana bread

The third recipe of my New Year's Cooking Challenge was inspired my good friend Angela Hurley, a fellow lover of all things food and nutrition. She brought some whole wheat banana muffins to share at our bi-weekly small group for our church group, St. Paul's Outreach, and it was love on first bite. On top of the normal yummy-ness you can expect from banana muffins, these had an extra surprise: they were crunchy! I know you're wondering why you would want something crunchy in your muffins, but trust me, you do. The crunch in Angela's muffins came from the addition of millet, a nutrient-rich little grain/seed that is the main staple in the diets of many of the world's citizens (my roommate Joe subsisted on them for two months while studying in Senegal). The recipe Ang sent me (by Joy the Baker) was actually for bread, so that's what I decided to make. I made two loaves, one with chocolate chips (for Joe, who insists that no baked good is complete without chocolate) and one without. They turned out flawlessly, super-moist and with the perfect amount of sweetness. I highly recommend you try this recipe!

Whole Wheat and Millet Banana Bread
by Joy the Baker

- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs (I used a flaxseed substitute, 4 Tbsp flaxseed meal + 12 Tbsp water)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 4 medium bananas, mashed
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup raw millet, rinsed

1. Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour two 8×4 inch loaf pans and set aside (I actually needed slightly larger pans).
2. In a medium bowl, whisk together butter, oil, sugars, and eggs.  Beat until thoroughly incorporated.  Whisk in the vanilla, buttermilk, and mashed bananas.  Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon.  Stir in millet.  Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients.  Carefully pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients.  Use a spatula to fold the batter together.
4. Divide the batter between the two prepared baking pans.  Bake for about 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.  Remove from oven and allow to cool in the pan for 15 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.  Banana bread will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to five days.


  1. I've heard of millet, but I never knew it was crunchy! Is it pretty inexpensive, and can I find it at any old grocery store?

    Oh and I completely agree with Joe. Who would ever bake anything without chocolate? :)

  2. Good observation, Rachel. Millet is usually cooked so no, isn't usually eaten crunchy. And yes it's pretty cheap; a package of Bob's Red Mill is less than $3 I think. Try it!

  3. Going to make this for my office! Excited :)


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