During the initial days of the pandemic last year, everyone that got bit by the baking bug, got into baking banana bread because it was the more effortless, perhaps more flavorful rendition of 'plain' bread. I'm guilty of this too.
I've made quite a few banana bread since March 2020; I've tried various recipes with different flavor combinations. I made many banana muffins, too (I have a recipe on the blog for delicious banana and chocolate chip muffins, you should check it out). And they were all delicious.
So, my family has become quite accustomed to eating banana bread regularly. When they saw me making and photographing this particular banana bread recipe, it came as a shock to them that there wasn't a banana bread recipe on the blog. Quite frankly, I was also shocked by the lack of a banana bread recipe on the blog.
So, here it is, the first banana bread recipe on this blog. I wanted it to be special, with a unique flavor combination compared to regular banana bread. So, I made this, a tahini banana bread.
Tahini is roasted sesame paste; think of it like peanut butter but made with sesame seeds instead of peanuts. The flavor profile of tahini and peanut butter is very similar, which is why sesame beautifully works with bananas. Because, if you didn't know, peanut butter and banana are a match made in heaven.
The banana bread in this recipe is soft, packed with flavor from the bananas and the tahini, and it's got a little salty, savory aftertaste from the tahini. Plus, the recipe happens to be eggless as well!
What goes into the tahini banana bread?
Okay, so the most important thing for this recipe is some bananas and then some tahini.
Tahini can be found in large supermarkets or online stores in jars or bottles, but I've honestly never purchased tahini. I always make mine from scratch.
To make tahini at home, take whatever amount of sesame seeds you want to, put them in a single layer on a baking tray. Roast them in a preheated oven at 180°C for 8-9 minutes until they're golden and fragrant. You can also dry roast the seeds on a frying pan over a stove.
Then you want to slightly cool off the sesame seeds and blitz them in a food processor or a mixer grinder with a splash of sesame oil and salt until smooth.
Now, moving on to the rest of the ingredients. You'll need bananas, super ripe bananas; the more dark and gross they look, the better flavor you'll have.
Next, you'll need all-purpose flour, neutral-tasting oil (sunflower, vegetable, canola, rice bran…), caster sugar, yogurt, milk, vanilla extract, baking soda, baking powder, some salt, and cinnamon. The cinnamon is optional but highly recommended.
What equipment do I need to make the tahini banana bread?
This being a bread, you will need a loaf tin to bake it in, a 9x4 inch loaf tin, to be exact.
You will also need some parchment paper, two mixing bowls, a wire whisk, and a silicone spatula.
Recipe for Tahini Banana Bread
Time: 1 ½ hour
Yields: 850 grams loaf
300 grams (1 cup) mashed overripe bananas (approx. 3 medium-sized bananas)
120 grams (½ cup) tahini
50 grams (¼ cup) grams neutral-tasting oil (sunflower, canola, rice bran, vegetable, etc.)
140 grams (½ cup + 3 tablespoons) caster sugar
56 grams (¼ cup) milk
48 grams (3 ½ tablespoons) yogurt
2 grams (½ teaspoon) baking soda
6 grams (1 ½ teaspoon) vanilla extract
3 grams (1 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
208 grams (1 ⅔ cups) all-purpose flour
6 grams (1 ½ teaspoon) baking powder
2 grams (½ teaspoon) salt
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Grease a 9x4 inch loaf tin with some butter, and line it with parchment paper. Grease the top of the parchment, and dust it with a little bit of flour.
In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Small lumps of the fruit are okay; it doesn't need to be completely smooth.
Add the sugar to the bananas and whisk until combined.
Whisk in the oil until emulsified, followed by the tahini. Whisk until you have a homogeneous mixture.
Add the yogurt and baking soda, and whisk well.
Incorporate the milk and vanilla extract next. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon at this stage if you want to.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt really well.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and fold with a silicone spatula until no dry spots are visible.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and smooth out the top with your spatula.
Optionally, you can top the banana bread with a sliced banana and some sesame seeds.
Bake the banana bread in the preheated oven at 180°C for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean.
Remove the banana bread from the tin after 5 minutes, let it cool completely before slicing.
You can have it as it is, or you can toast it with some butter, and drizzle some honey and any nut butter on top.
The banana bread can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Any further than that, you want to refrigerate it.
If you don't have a loaf tin, you can bake the banana bread in an 8-inch round cake tin. It will take about 35-45 minutes to cook thoroughly, so keep an eye on it.