Spiced Banana Raisin Loaf


There was a time I used to make banana bread regularly then one day it all stopped. Some 15 years back a loaf of banana bread lovingly baked was tucked away in a steel container and shoved on top shelf of the kitchen due to sheer malice. I was visiting my mother for a few days so baked the bread and left the next day. Some six month later while spring cleaning I found a container that won’t open. The container was heavy so I was curious about what lay inside. With great difficulty I managed to pop the lid away and there it was, a rotten banana bread with fungus that could be a perfect sample for a science student. It broke my heart and never baked the bread again.

I did make a banana nut bread in a mug. You can get the recipe Here.

Since a few days mom had been craving for it and I was just not getting into the mood. I usually do not bake breads now so the pantry was empty. No baking powder or baking soda. I was too lethargic to go buy or even order. The bananas were getting overripe and yesterday I gave in to the temptation.

The whole wheat bread that I usually made had jaggery instead of sugar but here I powdered and used the regular sugar.  Brown sugar or jaggery is the best to use in banana bread. The rich flavor is amazing. Do use that if you have it.   1/4 cup is good for this recipe. If using jaggery or Muscovedo sugar then use 1 cup.

It was an experiment of sort as I had not baked without baking powder or baking soda before so I began to search for options on the internet. Yeast, sour dough were out so I was about to give up when Alice’s blog link popped up. I was happy someone had bothered to bake a bread without the two ingredients that are considered important and adapted her recipe to suit my needs. Thank you Alice. I knew it would be dense but cooked so there wasn’t much to worry.

Surprisingly, the bread turned out to be good. Moist, sweet, spiced and dense. Something between a cake and a bread. I decided to call it a loaf. 🙂 Everyone who had it thought that the texture resembled the Bishop Bread we get from ITC Maurya. Well, that was a very satisfying compliment. That bread is out of the world.

It needed some adjustment of temperature etc.

Do give it a try :

Ingredients :

Bananas – 3 medium or 2 large , over ripe ones

Whole wheat flour – 11/2 Cup (16 tbsp)

Butter – 1/2 Cup ( softened) ( I used a salted butter but if you use unsalted then add 1/4 tsp of salt) or 1/2 Cup – Vegetable oil

Spice powder – cinnamon, clove, nutmeg

Powdered Sugar – 1 Cup ( depends on the sweetness of  the bananas)

Eggs – 2 (well beaten)

Raisins –  1/2 Cup (Plumped in water)

Walnuts – A handful ( toasted / optional)

Buttermilk – 2 tbsp

Steps : 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F or 175 degrees C.  Grease and dust a 8×3 or 9×5 inch loaf tin. I used an 8 inch one.

Peel and mash overripe bananas in a large mixing bowl. Don’t make a smooth paste. Clumpy is good for a nice texture. Bananas with blackening skin or brown skin with deep brown spots are good. Make sure they are not fermenting. Do not get tempted to add more bananas just because you want to finish them. It will result in a dense under cooked center.

Gently fold in the softened butter /Oil, sugar and spice powder to the mashed bananas. Using oil is a good idea as it helps the bread retain the moisture. Next one will be with oil.

I add the beaten eggs just before putting the bread into the oven. If your oven and loaf tin are ready then beat the eggs very well in a bowl. Get in as much air as you can. This will make the bread light. Remember we aren’t using anything to help it rise. Add the beaten eggs to the banana sugar mixture and mix well with a spatula.  Don’t use any hand mixer for the recipe.

Now, make a well in the center of the whole wheat flour and slowly fold in the banana mixture wit ha spatula. It would be lumpy but that is great. Just mix everything nicely so that there are no flour streaks. Add 2 tbsp of buttermilk or sour cream. The batter is usually very thick so this help in making it smooth and nice. Gives a nice flavor and texture too.

Fold it the plumped raisins and toasted crushed walnuts if using. Dry raisins burn easily so it is good to plump them a little. You can toss some of the nut raisin mixture on the top also.

Pour the batter in the loaf tin and bake for 50 minutes or til toothpick comes out clean from the center.

Temperature may vary from oven to oven and I found my bread gets browned from top quickly if I place on top slot. I have two slots so I placed it in the lower one after it was 3/4 done. You can use aluminium foil to cover it to prevent extra browning. I didn’t so my crust browned more.

Another thing is to place some water in the drip tray under the wire rack. The steam makes the bread softer. I did it earlier, not for this one.

Keep checking after 45 minutes and if it needs more cooking from the center just give it 10-15 more minutes.

Once done, turn off the oven and let it stay there for 10 minutes. Remove on wire rack after that and cool.

Wrap it up in cling wrap when warm or cut it and use as desired. I usually slice it and keep in a tupperware box on the table.

Some people add vanilla essence or extract or chocolate in the bread but I personally do not like to mask the taste of spices and the rich banana flavor. You can add to your liking.

Do let me know how this loaf tasted if you make it. It is unlike the usual banana bread as I said. more like a fruit cake. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe – Whole Wheat Banana Nut Bread In a Mug


Moist and delicious banana bread  infused with the flavor of sweet banana and the goodness of whole wheat and organic jaggery  is not just nutritious  but also simple to put together. It is also the best way to use the over ripe bananas unless of course you blend them into a smoothie. You do not need a fancy mix for this fluffy bread. I usually bake it in the oven but the idea of a single serve banana bread cake in a mug is super awesome and a must try.

One can use Finger Millet instead of wheat or even almond flour and voila! you have a gluten free banana bread. I used organic jaggery granules, a healthier option than refined sugar. Now, we all know the benefits of all these ingredients so I won’t go into that here. Don’t be shy to ask mother Google. 🙂

You can add your choice of nuts (walnuts pair best with bananas). I have used sun dried blackberries instead of raisins/sultanas in this recipe. Just a handful. Some people add chocolate chips too but I do not not like to mix the two strong flavours. I feel chocolate masks banana’s delicate flavor.

So let us fill the warmth of holiday cheer in the house and start making this wonder bread in a mug.  Yes, you can whip up this goodness in just a bowl or directly into the microwave safe mug.

 

Ingredients :

1 over ripe banana ( 3 full tablespoons of mashed banana approx)

3 tablespoon organic jaggery granules

3 tablespoon whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 medium size egg

pure vanilla –  few drops

A pinch of salt

2 pinches of fresh cinnamon powder

choice of nuts/raisins/berries/chocolate chips etc (all optional)

Method :

Dry roast the flour on low heat till it gives a roasted aroma and the wheat turns light brown in color. ( this is optional step. You can use the wheat flour without roasting too but this step makes the bread more flavorful)

Mash an over ripe banana and dry roast the nuts you are using. Crush them a little.

Mix together , wheat flour, baking powder, cinnamon powder and salt in a bowl.

Add a lightly beaten egg, mashed banana, roasted crushed nuts, raisins/berries/sultanas, vanilla, jaggery and mix well with a fork or small whisk. Make sure that the jaggery melts. You can keep the mashed banana chunky or smooth as per your liking.

Now take a microwave safe mug and spray it with some cooking oil or just rub a little butter to grease the mug.

Spoon the batter into the mug and tap it gently on the counter. Add some roasted crushed walnuts and dried berries / raisins on top.

Place the mug on a saucer and into the microwave for 90 seconds. Keep the mug in the center of the microwave plate. You will see the bread rise as it bakes.

Check by inserting a tooth pick if the bread is done. If not give a few more seconds. The time may vary depending on the microwave and the mug you are using. It is tough to standardize these recipes.  you will get the hang of it. Don’t overcook. Check after a minute.

Be careful as the mug bread will be hot at the surface. Let it rest for a few seconds. I know it will be tough not to dig in as the aroma is truly tempting. 🙂

You can replace the jaggery with brown sugar or white sugar but the consistency may differ. Same with the use of flour.

Double the quantity if you want to share it with someone special.

 

Top it with sifted confectioner’s sugar, have it with a dollop of rich coffee ice cream or just enjoy the sweet banana infused wonder as it is.

Check out my other microwave mug cake recipes.

They are super quick and sumptuous.

Enjoy.