So simple, sumptuous, economical, and perfect with your morning coffee.
No eggs, no butter, no milk, no flavourings, only a smidge of sugar, and no mixer needed, yet this may be the most delicious, most tender banana bread you’ve ever had. The simple prep lets you whip this up in minutes with minimal clean-up. And if that’s not enough, this unique recipe uses whole grain flour that’s full of valuable nutrients that no white or whole wheat flour can ever deliver.
How can a banana bread recipe lacking what many would consider essential ingredients possibly work? It begins with whole grain flour, not the powdery, starchy stuff in most store-bought bags of flour. Whole grain flour brings substance to the dough, a nutty flavour, and valuable bran. When you have a home grain mill, you control the grind level allowing you to finely mill your flour. This reduces the weight of individual bits of bran and helps minimize its impact on the rise of the baked good.
To be sure, there is a learning curve when it comes to using whole grain flour in recipes because it does not behave exactly like commercial flour, which has nearly all its bran and nutrients removed. It is, in fact, so stripped of substance that commercial flour must be artificially “enriched” with vitamins. Many recipes that use all-purpose flour do not work well with whole grain flour, leading to the completely wrong assumption that you can’t bake anything but heavy, artisan bread with it. But when a recipe is designed for whole grain flour, the results can be excellent as well as healthful, as with this banana bread.
Next, this recipes uses loads of bananas that create a rich, natural sweetness and texture. It tastes like bananas without a flavour boost from vanilla. And as you may note from the video, we don’t wait until the bananas are nasty brown mush. This banana bread takes all its flavour from the bananas, so using compost quality bananas long past their optimum flavour just wouldn’t work. The right bananas are at that just-a-bit-too-soft point with some brown spots or streaks on the skin but with flavour that’s still fresh and sweet.
Because the bananas bring so much natural sweetness to the batter, very little sugar is added. This recipe only calls for a quarter cup of brown sugar. In fact, if you have exceptionally sweet bananas, you might not feel the need to add any at all.
Enjoy this lovely banana bread with a cup of morning coffee or anytime of day as a delicious snack that benefits you with all the goodness of whole grains.
Ultimate Whole Grain Banana Bread
- 230 g whole grain wheat flour (2 cups, Barrie-Walton or other with mild flavour)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 230 g ripe bananas (about 5, well mashed)
- 55 g brown sugar (1/4 cup, firmly packed)
- 2 T lemon juice, freshly squeezed
- 3 T grape seed oil (or other neutral vegetable oil, such as avocado)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- 50 g chopped, toasted nuts (1/2 cup, pecans or walnuts)
- Chop nuts coarsely. Spread on a baking sheet and bake for only 4-6 minutes or until very lightly toasted. You can toast the nuts while your oven is heating up. And be sure to set your timer! Set aside to cool.
- If starting with wheat berries, finely mill. Use Barrie-Walton wheat berries, or any other mildly flavoured wheat. If using a Mockmill Stone Grain Mill, set grind level to 1.5.
- Blend together the whole grain flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder and set side.
- Mash the bananas using a potato masher or ricer to eliminate as many lumps as possible. Blend the lemon juice into the bananas. Stir in the brown sugar until it is fully incorporated.
- Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir well to blend using a silicone spatula or wooden spoon. Stir only until all the flour is fully incorporated.
- Pour batter into a prepared 8" x 4" loaf pan, ideally lined with parchment paper for easy removal of the baked loaf from the loaf pan.
- Sprinkle the chopped nuts on top of the loaf.
- Bake at 350° for 45 – 55 minutes, or until the loaf is lightly browned. Check doneness by inserting a knife into the center of the loaf and removing it. If the blade comes out clean, the loaf is baked.
- Place loaf pan on stove top or on a cooling rack to cool for about 10 minutes before tilting the loaf pan to remove the banana bread. Peel away the parchment paper, if used. Allow the banana bread to cool on a cooling rack until it reaches room temperature before slicing.