Monday, January 16, 2012

Ultimate Banana Bread

This recipe is a take on The Ultimate Banana Bread in Cook's Illustrated Magazine (July/August 2010). Always a source of inspiration and science for me. This one is really quite extraordinary. It reduces the JUICE of the bananas to increase the flavour....Plus, only good fat, and no sugar, eggs or dairy. :) The flax(lin) seeds not only replace the eggs as a binder but they add an amazing nutty flavor that you cannot exactly put your finger on....Nature as it can be.

1 3/4 cups (300grams) unbleached flour (I use spelt)
1 teaspoon (coffeespoon) baking soda
1/2 teaspoon (coffeespoon) seasalt
6 very large ripe bananas peeled, frozen and defrosted (save the juice!!--it is the KEY!)
or fresh and microwaved (see instructions)
8 tablespoons (125 grams) coconut oil, melted & slightly cooled
3 heaping tablespoons of ground flax seeds (lin)
3/4 cup (175ml) maple syrup or rice syrup or agave syrup
1 tablespoon (soupspoon) vanilla extract
1 cup (250gr) chocolate chips (optional)

1. Prepare ground flax (lin) seeds by whisking them in a small bowl with 7 tablespoons water. Let stand to get a gooey in texture.

2. Pre heat oven to 350F/175C. Oil whatever pan you are using, sprinkle a bit of pure unrefined muscovado sugar (or what you have) on the bottom. Slice a banana and arrange on the bottom of the pan. Ones that work are loaf pans, bundt pans, square pans. Just add on more cooking time for a loaf shape as it is thicker. Set aside.

3. If using defrosted bananas, save the juice!!! Put it in a small pan and heat on low to reduce into a thin syrup. Usually about 5 min but do it just as long as you can.

4. Mix all dry ingredients in a large bowl. Flour, baking soda, seasalt.

5. Mash bananas and re-incorporate the reduced juice. Mix in all wet ingredients adding the flax (lin) seed last- melted coconut oil, maple/rice/agave syrup, vanilla extract and flax seed/water mixture. Pour into the dry ingredient mixture.

6. Stir in chocolate chips if using.

7. Pour into pan and shake and bang pan until it is evenly distributed.

8. Bake for about 45 minutes but check it! My oven is hot so time maybe a bit more in yours.
This can also be made as muffins.

9. See if you can keep it on a plate longer than an afternoon....

By the way, for you France enthusiasts... this cake is great to hide a feve in during Galette de Roi saison!!