Week 21: Banana Chocolate Chip Challah

Trader Joes Pareve Chocolate Chips -- They plump when you cook 'em!

When was the last time you made banana bread?  Your answer, like mine, probably begins with “This one week when we had a bunch of brown bananas that no one wanted to eat, but I felt bad throwing away…” The problem is, now that my son, Evan, eats a banana for breakfast everyday, we no longer have several rotting bananas 5-7 days after going to Costco.  When I decided to make banana challah this week, I had to go around scavenging for ripe bananas, and the usual haunts (Costco, several grocery stores) only had green bananas!  So, a special shout out to Pearl and Alex (and Eric) for selflessly providing me with primo bananas! Now onto the reason we’re here… I added a little less than a cup and a half of ripe bananas (3-4 smallish bananas) to the usual challah recipe.  The riper (browner) the bananas, the more flavorful and sweeter the challah (or banana bread in general) will be.  I also threw in a little vanilla and cinnamon, just for kicks.  And, of course, the chocolate chips.  I suppose some brown sugar instead of white sugar (or sprinkled on top?) would have been good too, but I wasn’t feeling particularly crazy this week. Because of the moisture from the ‘nanas, the challah dough needed at least an extra cup of flour (that’s sort of a very clever pun!).  I didn’t count, but it might even have been 2-3 extra cups.  It was pretty crazy.  My mixer can handle the 8-cup recipe, and my mixer definitely could not handle this dough. Yadda, yadda, yadda… It looks like challah, it feels like challah, but it tastes and smells like banana bread!  The chocolate chips were a great add on (are they ever not?), and I tried a few with walnuts, which were also pretty interesting. I present Banana Chocolate Chip Challah with the “Most suitable challah flavor to be served with Sunday morning brunch” award. Congrats!

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