Bread get a bad rap, unfortunately, in circles of friends and among health-conscious persons I know. Probably because “Bread” is evil. “Bread” embodies only two things, and these things are evil: carbs and gluten.
Even at restaurants, our language reflects how we really feel about bread (I catch myself all the time saying things like I’ll have a carb, thanks, or Please pass the carbs and butter. How sick is that?). It’s so unfair. Because the truth is, bread is lovely. It’s comforting. Most people I know can directly link a “carb” to their favorite childhood memories. Let’s put a stop to carb bullying.
For me, nothing takes me back to kidlet days quite like the smell of fresh banana bread. This variation, brought to you by good ole Heidi over at the always beautiful and creative 101 Cookbooks, incorporates sesame seeds and a sugar glaze. Carb on, good people. Carb on.
Sesame Banana Bread
via 101 Cookbooks, serves 10
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. dark brown sugar (or muscovado)
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. fine grain sea salt
1 1/3 c. toasted sesame seeds (a mix of black and white seeds for beauty)
1/3 c. olive oil
2 lg. eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 c. mashed ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
1/4 c. plain whole milk yogurt
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
For the glaze:
1/2 c. sifted dark brown sugar (muscovado)
1/2 c. confectioners’ sugar
4-6 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350° F, place a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9×5- inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add 1 c. plus 1 tbsp. of the sesame seeds; combine well.
In a separate bowl, mix together olive oil, eggs, mashed banana, yogurt, and zest. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about 45 min. You want to achieve beautiful color on the cake, but at the same time you don’t want to bake all the moisture out of it. So the minute you’re in that zone, pull it, erring on the side of under-baking versus over.
Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool in the pan for 10 min, then turn the loaf out of the pan to cool completely.
While bread is cooling, prepare the glaze. In a bowl, whisk together sugars and lemon juice until smooth. When the cake is completely cool, drizzle the glaze on top of the cake, spreading with a spatula to cover. Garnish the whole thing with remaining sesame seeds.