Freestyle Banana Bread

Recipes | Mapishi, Writing | Maandishi

I refer to this recipe as “freestyle” because after the basic requirements are met I almost always add in whatever other ingredients I have available that day. As a result, no two banana bread batches are ever the same; variety is the spice of life, friends. Alright, let’s bake!

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Sliced banana bread = breakfast-eligible cake.


Take these directions with a pinch of salt, pun intended, as I honestly measure very loosely — if I even measure, that is. 

First set the oven to somewhere between 350° and 375° Farenheit (convert accordingly if needed). While it’s preheating, combine:

  • Flour – 1 1/2 cups
  • Almond meal (ground almonds) – 1/2 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Baking soda – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Sugar – according to your taste (you probably won’t need much)
  • Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, nutmeg – 1/4 teaspoon each
  • Dried coconut shavings (toasted if you’re feeling fancy like I always am)
  • Nuts of your choosing
  • Sultanas (raisins) or chopped baking chocolate

Mix, mix, mix, thoroughly, to avoid the most unpleasant surprise of biting into a pocket of baking soda later.

Then, in a larger separate bowl:

  1. Mash 3 or 4 very, very ripe bananas
  2. Whisk in 1 egg
  3. Then 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract (I’m a purist and will sometimes use vanilla bean, but whatever you have should be fine)
  4. Whisk in 1/4 cup of oil (any type!)
  5. Then 1/2 cup of milk/almond milk/coconut milk that has been soured with 1 tablespoon of vinegar (the acid reacts with the baking soda and makes the batter rise better)
  6. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet by folding it in gently; it is imperative that you do not stir vigorously, lest the gluten in the flour get excited and make your baked goods rubbery. Once you have a well-combined but still somewhat loose mixture, distribute it into the baking pan of your choice: this recipe yields either a loaf or muffins! Whichever you opt for, make sure you’ve buttered and floured your pan well, otherwise the goodies might refuse to come out in one piece when they’re done. There is no indignity quite like trying to pry a hot banana muffin out of its hole, as it jiggles ever so slightly in mockery while you gasp with each rip. Prepare yourself so as to spare yourself.

Bake for, eh, 20-ish minutes then check; the muffins may well be done, but a loaf will likely need up to an hour. Poke all the way through the centre with a toothpick/skewer if you’re uncertain — if it emerges still sticky with batter, it’s not ready. It’s difficult for me to be specific about temperature and time because all the ovens I’ve ever used have each had minds of their own…

Let me know how you’ve fared! Assuming all has gone well, I’d love to see what you created 😀 .

xox,

Sylvia

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The muffin version — they remain fresh longer and are so cute!

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