Mum’s “Banana-Poppy seed Bread”

Mother’s always have the best comfort food recipes. This is by far one of my favourites.

I added the poppy seeds to her recipe as a substitute for pecan nuts or sunflower seeds, so I guess it’s an adapted recipe of sorts… but I still consider it hers, because I highly doubt poppy seeds do that much at all, really. I just like them. It’s kind of like taking someone else’s book and changing the character names, to call it your own adaptation, you know? Doesn’t count.

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You don’t even need to be as obsessed with bananas as I am in order to appreciate how incredible this recipe is. It has this knack of reminding you about alllll the good things about Christmas baking, whatever time of year you make it. The spices, the stickiness, the tastiest batter to lick out of the bowl… Mmm, it’s just so good.

As you can see, I’m using ripe bananas. Even if they’re brown already, it’ll be even better. You want sweet bananas, and any green on the skin will translate into a bitter after-taste in the bread later on.

Also, I’m using a baking dish here because I don’t have a mixing bowl yet – bite me, I’m in digs, students never have anything.

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If you can, mash the bananas with a masher or a blender. Even better, use one of the blending-stick things, that you use for soup or whatever. Fork works as well, but if you don’t like bananas chunks then the former will give you a smoother batter.

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Now, mum uses sunflower seeds or pecan nuts when she has, and both of these are delicious. However, I am obsessed with poppy seeds. Mohnkuchen is one of my favourite German cakes, and poppy seeds add such a beautiful texture and subtle flavour for next-to-nothing in terms of extra effort, time, and money.

You really could add anything, though, and nuts in general work really nicely with banana bread. Honestly, go wild. Let me know in the comments below if you do try something else, and how it went! I always enjoy new ideas.

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Lastly, just as an aside: watch your bread in the oven. The recipe does say an hour, but it will really and truly depend on the ripeness of your bananas, the size of your eggs, and hoe heavy a hand you have in general.

This is one of the recipes that can go from golden brown to black within seconds. The smell is delicious either way, so you really can only tell by keeping a physical eye on your bread in the oven. at around 45 minutes, give it a glance and see how it’s doing. If it’s brown but still wet inside, the aluminium foil trick will help finish the dough while keeping the lovely colour on top.

Happy baking!

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Mum’s “Banana-Poppy seed Bread”
Dairy-free

1 cup sugar
1/2 vegetable oil
3 small eggs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
5 ripe bananas
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
dairy-free margarine for greasing (or baking paper, or butter, or oil)
handful of poppy seeds (or other seeds and nuts of choice, but optional)

  • Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  • Mash the bananas to as fine and smooth as you want them to be.
  • Add the sugar, oil, eggs, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, some of the poppy seeds and flour, mixing until it’s all nicely combined.
  • Grease a loaf tin and pour in the batter.
  • Sprinkle with remaining poppy seeds and bake for roughly an hour, checking after 45 minutes to make sure it isn’t burnt. If a kebab stick comes out clean, center is cooked.
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