Simplest Vegan Banana Bread


I'm going to be totally cliche by using the phrase: "If I had a dollar for every time.."
Ready, here we go: If I had a dollar for every time someone asked me what my favorite thing to bake or my favorite thing about baking is, then I would be a millionaire. 
Anyone who attends pastry school or considers one's self an avid baker will understand that statement. 

Here's my answer to that frequently asked question:
My favorite part about baking (I'm talking the literal process here) isn't the scaling, nor the mixing, and it's not even the part where I pour batter in a pan and send it on an adventure in the oven. It's not the part where I routinely wish a chocolate cake or a dozen cookies good luck, and it certainly is not looking over my shoulder to view the horrendous leaning tower of dishes in my sink. 

You know the feeling you get when you remember something you couldn't recall a mere two hours ago? That "ooooh" nestling inside your chest. When I set the timer for a loaf of bread and gear my mind towards scrubbing all those dirty dishes or making my escape before the guilt of not doing them immediately arises, time ends up slipping through my fingers, and the waiting game against the oven disintegrates. 

It's that very moment when your brain registers a smell rapidly flooding your entire home. The scent that tests your patience and forces house guests to turn their nose up for investigation. It's right then and there, that I experience my guilty pleasure of baking. Two of my favorite suspects to sniff out? The crust of sourdough and of course, the sweet takeover of banana bread. 

These are two smells that I wouldn't ever need to mask with a candle. And this morning, banana bread happened..


Simplest Vegan Banana Bread
Yield: 1 loaf 
Adapted from:vegrecipesofindia


Ingredients:
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup raw sugar
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil (or 1/3 cup coconut oil + 1/3 cup applesauce)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
Topping:
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon 
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan with coconut oil.
  2. Toast the walnuts in the oven for 5-6 minutes or until golden and crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Set aside.
  4. Use a large mixing bowl and a hand or stand mixture to puree the bananas. Then, add the sugar, oil, and vanilla. Beat well. 
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and beat on low speed until 2/3 of the way incorporated. Add toasted walnuts and use a rubber spatula to fold the nuts into the batter being careful not to over mix. 
  6. Pour the batter evenly into the greased loaf pan. To make the topping, stir together sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the top of the loaf. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. 
  7. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then slide a knife along the edges of the pan and release the loaf to cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. 

I hereby conclude that banana bread is the best bread smell that will ever sneak through the oven.

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© A Little Baker
Maira Gall