The wind was driving the snow sideways last week, and it was bitterly cold and icy outside. I was in, warm and cozy in my NYC apartment and Ifound myself craving bread. This is definitely unusual, and it was a specific craving at that. What I wanted was a Vegan Banana Nut Bread that was not exactly a quick bread loaf, and not exactly a loaf of bread.
I saw my yet to be opened bag Bob’s Red Mill Organic Ivory Wheat Flour™. on the counter. This flour is what is known as white whole wheat. It is not GMO, as I first assumed it to be, when I first learned about this type of flour.
White Whole Wheat flour is stone ground from organic whole grain hard white wheat berries. It is 100% whole grain flour, with a creamy color, and it yields baked goods with a lighter flavor and texture than regular whole wheat flour. It is not whole wheat pastry flour—but it is whole wheat flour, with all of the bran, germ and endosperm intact. There is plenty of fiber in this wheat but it is said to be less ‘bitter’ than standard whole wheat flour.
Hard white whole wheat is a new variety of identity-preserved wheat that is quickly growing in popularity. This whole grain flour brings complete nutritional goodness to breads and other baked goods. The slightly sweet taste, lighter texture than whole wheat flour made from hard red wheat, and creamy color make it easy to introduce whole wheat flour into breads, pizza dough and heartier muffins. I wouldn’t use it to make cakes or pie dough or even most cookies.
Well, maybe using this type of flour would yield a banana bread that would be more bread-like than quick bread-like. My freezer was holding loads of very ripe frozen bananas. So far, so good.
I actually decided to try the recipe for the Banana Muffins that was on the bag of flour. When I see a recipe with just one egg, and melted butter, I’m good to go. Piece of cake! I had a bag of Bob’s new Egg Replacer, too.
I chunked the frozen bananas to make 2 1/2 cups of puree. That’s a lot of banana. To be honest, I was feeling a bit lazy, which is not good when recipe testing. In fact, it breaks all of my rules, so the puree was more like banana nice cream. The following are my changes to the recipe on the bag of flour. You can also find it on the Bob’s Red Mill website as Banana Nut Muffins.
- I used less oil than the amount of butter because you can. Butter contains solids.
- I mixed up the egg replacer and added it to the oil. It did not incorporate so I added that mixture to the bananas in the food processor and then folded the wet ingredients into the dry.
It was immediately clear that:
- I had far too much batter for 12 muffins, but I wanted a bread
- I needed more liquid so I added 2 tablespoons of nondairy milk. I’d have added more if necessary.
- I added 1/2 cup of broken pecans, next time I’d add more.
The next thing I did was either daring or dumb. I don’t recommend overfilling baking pans, but it here it worked to give me a hearty loaf. I overfilled the greased loaf pan, filling it almost all of the way to the top and put it in the preheated oven on the middle rack. I set the timer for 45 minutes, thinking the bread would take longer, and at 45 minutes it was high as can be, and browned but wet in the middle. In all, I baked the bread about 1 hour and 15 minutes, which may have been 6-7 minutes too long But for this bread it was fine.
This very heavy loaf (I mean the weight, not the texture) smelled so unbelievably good while it was baking and while it was cooling. When it cooled enough to slice, I thought it was just a bit dry, so I put the still warm loaf into a plastic bag, thinking condensation from the cooling loaf would add moisture. It did. I was mindful to remove the bread a few hours later to prevent mold. Instead, to moisten the loaf, I could have poked holes into the warm bread and brushed the top with maple syrup, but I wanted bread, not a sweet quick bread. I sliced it and ate not one but two pieces. It was that good to me. I tasted the bread plain, and with Miyoko Kitchen’s VeganButter and a drizzle vegan orange blossom honey that’s a recipe in the Rouxbe Essential Desserts course. It was clear that I had to slice the loaf and freeze it so I wouldn’t be tempted to eat more.
Last week, when Sharon from Big City Vegan came for dinner, our dessert was a sloppy looking but decadently delicious Banana Bread Banana Baked Alaska.
Here is my Vegan Banana Nut Bread recipe, which is a revised version of the Bob’s Red Mill recipe.
Vegan Banana Nut Bread
- 2 cups organic ivory wheat flour
- 1/4 cup each organic cane and coconut sugar, finely ground
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 cups banana mashed, about 4, (mine were frozen) and pureed in food processor
- Bobs Red Mill Egg Replacer to equal 1 egg
- 2 tablespoons nondairy milk
- 3 tablespoons avocado oil or any neutral oil
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans chopped
Preheat oven to 350°F. Oil an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan.
Sift the dry ingredients into the bowl.
Puree the bananas in a food processor, Add the oil and prepared egg replacer. Add the vanilla.
Mix the banana mixture into the dry ingredients. Add the nondairy milk.
The batter may be dry. Mix hard, add more plant milk.
Bake until done, about 1 hour or until a tester inserted into the center of the loaf hold just a few moist crumbs.
Cool the pan on a wire rack for 10-15 minutes, and then turn out onto the rack. Cool before cutting.