Because I can’t have this blog without sharing my favourite banana bread recipe. On Earth. Ever. Bread? Cake? Is there a difference between banana versions of either? I personally just call it banana bread, you dashing BB, because I’ve always associated the teatime stuff with a traditional bread-like texture. More robust, hearty, almost wholesome. Less airy-fairy, but call it a cake if you wish. I think I’ll stick to the former. My favourite sweet and dense bread. There are those who like sticky fruit cakes, the sort you can stick your hand into and it feels like muddy air, and this is no different, except perhaps the bits and bobs of banana will stick lovingly to your fingers, and when you pull them out your hands smell like the best bloody thing in the universe.
The smell of banana bread baking and emerging from the oven, then resting for a while, a solid, plump and golden thing, is my favourite ‘oven smell’ ever. One of the purest joys in life.
I think there are 3 things which make it brilliant.
1. There’s thick and lush Greek yoghurt in it, for superb moisture and flavour.
2. The whole cup of mashed banana and perhaps more, in some cases where 3 mashed bananas nicely exceed that capacity. If I had to re-label this recipe, it would definitely be ‘double banana bread’.
3. The use of flavourless vegetable oil instead of melted butter, which I think aids in producing a lighter, more tender crumb, and doesn’t mask the natural sweetness or flavour of ripe banana.
Divine, and so easy that there’s really no other way I make it now. I have serious history with this recipe, and it’s funny how I’m only posting it now. Ridiculous. I’ve tried out so many variations– with and without yoghurt, made with just milk, no oil/no butter… Anyways, here I am and boy am I glad I’m finally spilling the beans.
Moist Banana Bread (makes one 9×5-inch loaf)
3 medium bananas, ripe and mashed (usually amounts to about one cup, and lumps of banana make for better texture)
110g light brown sugar (half cup, packed)
100g white caster sugar (half cup)
55g vegetable oil (quarter cup)
125g plant-based yoghurt such as almond/soy/coconut
188g all-purpose flour (1.5 cups)
*note: I’ve made this using half whole-wheat flour and half all-purpose flour, and the end result was just as brilliant. A little less devious, but equally moist and decadent.
2 flax eggs: 2 tbsp ground flaxseed+6tbsp water
1 tsp each of baking powder and baking soda
half teaspoon fine salt
Stir the flaxseed and water together in a small bowl and set aside to gel up while you work with the rest of the ingredients. Grease a standard 9×5-inch loaf pan, line with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 162 C (325F). In a large bowl and a whisk, whisk together the mashed banana, sugars, oil, yogurt and flax eggs. In another smaller bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add the dry to wet, and fold briefly until just combined. Lumps are welcome. That’s it, my fine friends. Pour into the pan and bake for 60-75 minutes. With my oven, I found that the perfect baking time is 70 minutes (1hr and 10 mins). Bask in that smell.