Hazelnut and Banana Bread
I’ve baked a lot this week: there was a birthday cake for my boyfriend, a spice cake to bring to a picnic, and this hazelnut and banana bread, that I made yesterday. I’ve told you before that I’m not that much of a baker. Actually, baking cakes always scared me a bit, since so far I had way too many unsuccessful experiences to count. But, anyway, it seems I’m mastering the art of vegan baking, as those three cakes that I baked this week turned out quite yummy. The hazelnut and banana bread is the one I decided to share with you, since it’s almost 100% created by myselft.
To be fair, I first started to follow a recipe from an old cookbook that my mom bought a long time ago, but things weren’t working out (the recipe didn’t call for enough wet ingredients, and the batter ended up not coming together at all), so I started things over with a whole new approach. I might have been on a lucky day, as the bread turned out quite good: it’s definitely moist, and as far as the flavor goes, it’s delicate and slightly sweet, which makes it perfect for breakfast. First things first: use very, very, ripe bananas, as it makes all the difference. Baking them will enhance even more their sweet flavor, so make sure not to skip that step. A final note: I used hazelnuts in here, but feel free to substitute them for walnuts or pecans, as they work out very well too.
Hazelnut and Banana Bread
(makes one loaf)
4 very ripe bananas, unpeeled
½ cup (125 ml) olive oil
½ cup (55 grams) muscavado sugar
1 and ½ tablespons ground flax seed, mixed with 8 tablespoons water
1 non dairy, unsweetened, yogurt (100 grams)
½ cup (125 ml) soy milk
1/3 cup (80 ml) agave nectar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
¾ cup rolling oats
1 cup (135 grams) unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup (135 grams) bleached all purpose flour
¾ cup (120 grams) hazelnuts, toasted and coarsly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Line a (25 by 12 by 7 cm) metal loaf pan with non stick parchment paper. Set aside.
2. Put the bananas, unpeeled, in a large baking dish and bake them for 15 minutes or until their skins are totally black. Remove from the oven and let cool. When they’re cool enough to be handled, take the flesh out of the bananas and put it into a bowl. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, sift together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix in the rolling oats.
4. Beat together the olive oil, agave nectar and muscavado sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer at medium-high speed, until well incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and add the yogurt, soy milk and flax seed mixture. Finally, mix in the bananas.
5. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the flour mixture and hazelnuts.
6. Pour the batter into the loaf pan, spreading evenly, and bake in the middle of the oven for 50 to 60 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Mine was done after 50 minutes, but after 35 minutes of the baking time, I covered the top of the pan loosely with aluminium foil, to prevent the top crust of the bread from browning too much.
7. Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn it out onto a rack to cool completely. I think this bread is at its best the day after it’s baked.