Cream Cheese Banana Bread

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This banana bread is super moist, super delicious and so not diet friendly! Sorry! ūüėČ It is so moist and delicious thanks to the entire block of cream cheese and 3/4 cup of butter that you start the recipe with. What can I say? Sometimes, you just need a little bit of indulgence and this banana bread is perfect for that. It’s all about moderation, right? ūüôā So with all that said, if you’re needing a little pick me up, something special to take to a friend, or just a nice weekend breakfast treat this banana bread is for you!

Ingredients:

recipe *slightly* adapted from: sugarandspice-celeste.blogspot.com

3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened

1 (80z.) 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened

2 c. sugar

2 large eggs

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 c. whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

4 very ripe medium bananas

1 c. roughly chopped pecans

1 tsp. vanilla extract

cinnamon and sugar for sprinkling on top

Directions: 

Cream butter and cream cheese together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar and beat until smooth. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well between each and scraping sides of bowl after each addition. Add bananas and mix on low until mashed and incorporated well into batter.

Whisk together all dry ingredients. Gradually add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Add vanilla and pecans.

Spoon batter into two greased 8×4 in. loaf pans. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, if desired. Bake at 350¬į for about 1 hour or until tester comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack.

*Enjoy one loaf right away and wrap the other in plastic wrap then foil and freeze to enjoy another day!*

Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

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I’m always a little nervous trying whole wheat breads because they tend to be very dense and hard to get just right. This is not one of those. Perfectly light and not heavy for a wheat bread, perfect for a sandwich, some jam, with a bowl of soup on a cold night, anytime! I added a little honey to my melted butter at the end of baking that gave it just the right amount of sweetness. We’ve been eating on the first loaf and I wrapped the second loaf in saran wrap then foil and placed it in the freezer to enjoy later!

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Ingredients:

recipe from: thecurvycarrot.com

1/4 c. warm water

4 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast

2 1/2 c. warm water

2 tsp. salt

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted

1/4 c. sugar

1 tbls. honey

6 c. whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted and divided to brush on bread after baking + 1 tbls. honey

Directions:

In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup warm water (around 100 degrees) and the yeast, stirring slightly to dissolve.  Set aside for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the 2 and 1/2 cups of warm water, salt, melted butter, sugar, and honey.  Mix until combined. Add the yeast mixture to stand mixer and stir to combine.

With the mixer speed on low, add 2 cups of whole wheat flour and the all-purpose flour until just combined. Switch to the dough hook, and with the mixer speed on low, add the remaining whole wheat flour. Knead the dough until elastic, about 10 minutes or so.

Remove the dough from the mixer and shape it into a ball. Place the dough into a well-oiled bowl and gently roll the dough around to coat completely with oil. Cover the bowl with a light cloth and set aside in a warm place to rise until doubled, about 1 hour. I put mine in the oven with the light on for an hour and it stayed warm enough but never got too warm.

After the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and gently roll it out onto a lightly floured surface.Divide the dough into two loaves and place each into a lightly greased (or oiled) bread pan.

Cover the bread pans with the cloth and return them to a warm place to rise again until doubled, about another hour. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the bread until lightly golden, about 25 minutes or so.

Remove the bread from the oven and brush with the butter.  Let cool for about 10 minutes, and then invert the loaves onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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