I’ve baked more than fifteen loaves of banana bread this past year, with the recipe from the Cook’s Illustrated American Classics cookbook being my go-to source of inspiration. But then, King Arthur Flour released its 2018 Recipe of the year Whole Grain Banana Bread—and it was clearly time for a banana bread bake off competition.
I assumed the outcome would be close, but I could not have been more wrong. The King Arthur Whole Grain recipe was SO MUCH BETTER that I ended up dumping the Cooks Illustrated recipe faster than you can spell banana. However, I did make two substitutions in the King Arthur recipe, one being quite significant.
— I used ⅔ cup butter [10 tablespoons] instead of the ½ cup of vegetable oil that the recipe calls for. Head’s up: if you are substituting for the vegetable oil, King Arthur says you need to use ⅔ cup of melted butter.
Why would anyone use soy bean oil, aka vegetable oil, when you can use real butter? But that’s another story for another time.
—I used 2 cups of King Arthur White Wheat flour [226 grams] instead of 1 cup White Wheat Flour and 1 cup of All Purpose Unbleached Flour.
I’ve been blow away by how much I like the King Arthur White Wheat Flour, given that I am in no way a fan of whole wheat flour. King Arthur flour isn’t cheap, but it does go on sale every couple of months at Safeway, Kroeger, Fred Myers and other large retailers. I wait until it’s on sale before I buy it, and then stock up.
Other Substitutions to Consider:
Sugar—You can lower the amount of brown sugar from 1 cup [213 grams] to ¾ cup [160 grams appx] without messing things up.
Diabetic?—From the reader’s comments for this recipe at the King Arthur Website “I’m diabetic, for the brown sugar I used Truvia brown sugar blend,” and “I substituted Splenda Brown Sugar for regular brown sugar,” “ I substituted Splenda for the sugar and substituted one half of the all purpose flour with half a cup of almond flour. Turned out tasting just like the banana bread I grew up eating”.
Gluten Free—King Arthur says you can substitute Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour. I haven’t tried this, so you’re on your own.