Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Experimenting with almond flour: Banana bread

We came home to some super-ripe bananas in the fruit bowl... forgot to freeze those before we took off on vacation! My first thought with ripe bananas is banana bread, of course. I have a tried and true basic banana bread recipe in Fanny Farmer that I've used forever, but lately I've been wanting to experiment with almond flour as an ingredient, and that's something I don't think dear Fanny knew anything about. A blog about gluten-free cooking that I look in on occasionally, Elena's Pantry, advocates almond flour, and even though I don't need to avoid gluten (that I know of...), it just sounds good to me. Nutty and yummy and all that.

Of course, when I looked at the fat content of almond flour, I did a little quick breath intake and thought, "Oh my, well, at least it's the GOOD fat." Since I've been eating pretty much non-stop on the BAD fat lately, might as well do a bit of battle with the good... So I took Elena's recipe and fiddled with it--added back a bit of the Fanny--and it turned out wonderfully. Next time I might just make it with just the almond flour and skip the whole wheat entirely... we'll see.

Sher's experimental banana bread
2 cups blanched almond flour
2 cups whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup canola oil
3 eggs, whisked
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 bananas, mashed

In a large bowl, mix together whole wheat flour, almond flour, salt and baking soda. In a smaller bowl, combine mashed bananas, brown sugar, oil, eggs and vanilla. Mix wet ingredients into dry. Place batter in two greased/sprayed loaf pans. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes, or until skewer inserted into the bread comes out dry. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

I especially like the texture of the bread, and the feel as you're chewing; it's just less wheaty. It's hard to know how to describe it, exactly... you'll just have to try baking with almond flour. I think this ingredient is going to find its way into more of my recipes in the future...


  1. Now, can I just substitute unbleached flour for the almond flour and use your recipe that way? Looks wonderful.

    I am making little chocolate flourless cakes for New Year's Eve dinner. One would think we had run out of desserts already but no, just want those little cakes!!

    Thanks for the inspiration.

  2. I think you could, and the results should be quite similar. You might start with just 1.5 cups of unbleached and see how it is, texture-wise, and add the last half if it still seems a bit wet.

    Happy baking, Ma!

  3. I am definetly going to try this recipe.


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