There’s something so comforting about homemade bread. Maybe it’s the drawn out process of gathering ingredients, mixing, baking, and cooling. Or perhaps it’s the heavenly smell that wafts through the house and lingers in all of the nooks and crannies. Once the bread comes out of the oven, it’s a lesson in patience as you painstakingly wait for it to cool down enough to slice. When you take that first bite, you instantly feel as if all is right in the world, if only for that fleeting moment. And then you immediately want another slice (and another, and another…).
I’ve always found homemade breads to be far superior than anything I can buy (at least for the most part). This has become increasingly true the last couple of years as my dietary restrictions have changed. It’s rare to be able to buy a gluten free and vegan bread product of any sort that not only tastes good, but has good texture. Since Erin McKenna’s Bakery isn’t right around the corner, I’ve settled for satisfying my bread cravings the homemade way.
As the remainder of a bunch of bananas sat ripening the other day, the yellow skin mottled with dark blotches, I figured it was time for a loaf of banana bread. Though I tend to lean towards warming spices, pecans, and walnuts, I decided to take it in a different direction. I wanted a bit of lightness and perhaps a touch of the exotic. I wanted something special and original. The resulting loaf is scented lightly with lime zest and fresh ginger root and punctuated throughout with buttery chunks of toasted macadamia nuts. And, to add a slight spicy contrast, a bit of ground clove is added to the mix. I highly recommend this humble loaf as your next weekend or rainy day project, especially if you have a bunch of quickly ripening bananas on your counter top 🙂
Lime Scented Macadamia Banana Bread
notes: after a few years of baking gluten free breads at home, I almost exclusively use my 8x8x4 pullman style loaf pan as the sides are straight up and down instead of slanted. This provides a better structure for gluten free breads as they bake up and rise. So, if you have one, use it. If not, use a standard sized loaf pan and start checking for doneness around the 30 to 35 minute mark.
90g oat flour
75g arrowroot flour
50g brown rice flour
50g buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 tsp psyllium husk or xanthan gum
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 cup toasted and chopped macadamia nuts
350g well-mashed ripe bananas (this will be 3 to 4 bananas depending on the size)
90g melted coconut oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
125 g grade B maple syrup
zest of 2 limes
a one-inch sized piece of ginger, grated
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Grease your loaf pan and line it with parchment paper leaving an overhang. This will allow you to easily remove the bread after it bakes without having to dump it onto the cooling rack. Set your prepared pan aside.
Combine all of the dry ingredients together in a bowl except for the macadamia nuts, then whisk well to combine. Once the dry ingredients are mixed together, stir in the macadamia nuts to distribute them evenly.
In a separate bowl, combine all of the wet ingredients together. Mix well with the whisk until they are smooth.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix well until a thick batter forms and there are no remaining clumps of dry flour. Pour the batter into your prepared pan, then tap the pan on the counter several times to remove any air bubbles. Smooth the top of the bread out with your fingers or a spatula, then place the bread into your preheated oven.
Bake the bread for 40 to 45 minutes until a tester inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean (it will have moist crumbs on it) and the bread is deeply golden in color. Cool the bread for 5 to 10 minutes in the pan, then move it to a cooling rack using the parchment paper. Cool the bread an additional 20-30 minutes before slicing into it. Makes approximately 16 servings/slices. Once cooled to room temperature, leftovers may be wrapped in plastic wrap and left at room temperature for 3-4 days.