This Banana Bread is something that I tried my hand at during the holiday season, when I had family visiting. I realised I had neither the baking powder nor the chocolate chips for the recipe; no nuts for any crunch, or brown sugar that generally goes best with banana-based desserts, but I had soda and apple cider vinegar that could make it work. However, I was a little skeptical of the alkaline (sort of soapy) after-taste that you tend to get when baking with soda. I still decided to give this a shot, and to my pleasant surprise, the bread was beautiful! It was extremely soft, fluffy and light 🙂
This bread requires minimal ingredients, yet turns out very flavourful. My cousin, who does not quite enjoy banana bread, could not resist taking extra bites. She kept coming back to it and really relished the taste, which made me extra happy! 😀 The main ingredients are all the usual stuff from your kitchen – flour, soda, bananas, oil, salt, milk, etc. The addition of an extra couple of teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to counteract the baking soda worked very well for this recipe. You could add coconut oil instead of vegetable oil, too and that would impart a really rich nutty flavour to the bread. I threw in a teaspoon of cinnamon since I really like the flavour and I think it adds an extra touch of warmth; another option would be all-spice or nutmeg, some even like to add ginger powder. They all have their own flavour and aroma. Feel free to experiment with spices that suit your taste buds 🙂
In case you’re not convinced yet, take an up & close look at that incredibly gorgeous, soft and moist crumb!!!
How are we feeling now? 😀
Serve this warm with your evening tea, or have it for breakfast with some hot chocolate or milk – this will be just what you need this winter! 🙂
- Bananas- 4, big and ripe, mashed with a fork
- All purpose flour- 2 cups (about 230g)
- Baking soda- 2 tsp
- Cinnamon powder- 1 1/2 tsp
- Apple Cider Vinegar- 1/4 cup
- Any type of milk (I used non-diary milk)- 1/2 cup
- Oil- anything that does not have a potent odour- 1/4 cup
- Salt- 1 tsp
- Sugar- 3/4 cup
- Vanilla extract- 1 1/2 tsp (I used pure vanilla extract. If you are using an essence, not more than 1/4 tsp)
- Before beginning with the cake batter preps, you want to preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Next, mash your bananas with a spoon or a fork until completely mashed, or partially if you like some chunks in the bread.
- Mix all your dry ingredients together. For this, combine All purpose flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon powder in a bowl. Sifting them all together through a fine sieve will ensure even mixing.
- In another bowl, combine all your wet ingredients: mashed bananas, sugar, vanilla, apple cider vinegar, milk and oil.
- Now, fold in the dry ingredients with the wet, in batches. Do so, as slowly as you can. The consistency would almost be like your idli batter- thick but pour-able. Your batter is now ready.
- Grease a loaf pan with some butter or oil. Pour your batter in, give it a couple of taps to make sure the batter is evenly distributed. This also takes care of any surface bubbles.
- Bake this at 180 degrees Celsius for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean.
Have it at breakfast, serve warm with a cup of tea, or eat chilled bread with ice cream as dessert. Enjoy! 🙂
TIPS AND TRICKS
- Do not mix the batter vigorously, just fold and incorporate the wet and dry ingredients together. Over mixing will make all the air bubbles evaporate, resulting in the cake becoming dense. You want the batter to be airy and light. You will notice the batter bubbling just a bit while you are mixing- this is just the baking soda reacting with the vinegar to release air into the batter, making it rise.
- Place the batter in the oven as quickly as you can to bake once you pour it into thhe cake pan. This will again ensure the air bubbles remain in the batter.
- Most of the moisture and softness comes from the (a) the oil and (b)the bananas. Hence, do not reduce the amount of oil in your recipe. Also, the bananas need to be as ripe as possible- the black spots on the peel will indicate this. The riper they are, the sweeter they will be.
- I used 3/4th of a cup of sugar. This will again depend on the brand you use, and also on how sweet the bananas are. A couple of trials will give you an idea. Also, brown sugar is a great option- it gives the cake that “earthy” flavour.