I never understood the craze that was going on with banana bread one time on the Internet. Everybody was baking it, but for me, it was totally out of focus for a quite while. I guess it didn’t sound interesting enough to me to spend my time in the kitchen baking it. Boy, I was missing a lot! However, recently I came across a recipe for banana bread made with kefir on the inside of the package of local Croatian Z’bregov kefir yogurt. The recipe for this kefir banana bread seemed very simple and I was attracted to the kefir as one of the ingredients so I decided to give it a try! Several attempts resulted in fragrant, slightly sweet, moist banana bread that lures you to serve it with some freshly made coffee. Or tea.
The origin of the banana bread
If you’re like me, then you might have wondered: “Who was the first to think of putting overripe bananas in bread?” I had no choice but to satisfy my curiosity and explore what Google says about it.
Evidently, two important historical circumstances coincided before the first banana bread was made. Firstly, in the mid-19th century Englishman Alfred Bird invented the first baking powder, which triggered a mini-revolution in baking cakes and bread. Also, during this period Americans were also working hard toward improving the existing baking powder formula; American scientist Eben Norton Horsford made some changes to the existing formula and created a modern version of baking powder similar to the one we know and use today.
The second circumstance is related to the well-known Great Depression, the world economic crisis that had its peak in the early 1930s. The crisis, starting in the United States, quickly spread to other continents, and since it has resulted in high unemployment, US households had to find new ways to save some money. Everything had to be used and nothing was allowed to be thrown away. And here we come to banana bread! Of course, one can not say for certain who was the first person who baked it, but during that period recipes for banana bread were beginning to emerge in many American cookbooks.
Of course, the recipes were changing and adapting to the spirit of the time. That’s why we today witness the multitude of banana bread recipe variations. But that is also its advantage.
Why do you have to make kefir banana bread?
- Do you have spotted overripe bananas that you were going to throw in the garbage? Please don’t do that because these bananas are perfect for making the most delicious banana bread ever.
- This kefir banana bread you can hold in the fridge for 4-5 days and it can be really a great morning snack, especially if you’re in a hurry and you don’t have the time to make breakfast. Save a slice, two (or three) in a plastic container and you’re ready for a new work day!
- You can adjust it to your preferences when it comes to spices and ingredients – banana bread is excellent with cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, ginger, nuts, and dark chocolate. You can serve it with butter, Greek yogurt, fruit, lemon curd, and even ice cream. The possibilities are countless!
So, the inspiration for this recipe was storebought kefir, but I adjusted some ingredients and ratios to my own taste. Let’s get started!
Kefir Banana Bread
- 120 g all-purpose flour
- 120 g whole wheat flour
- 3 smaller bananas (peeled)
- 100 grams honey
- 120 grams coconut oil
- 150 ml kefir
- 2 eggs
- 100 grams hazelnuts (roughly grinded)
- 10 grams baking powder
- 8-10 drops vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 additional banana for decoration (optional)
- In one bowl combine sifted flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.
- In another bowl cream together peeled and mashed bananas, honey, eggs, kefir, vanilla extract, and melted coconut oil. Add 80 grams of roughly ground hazelnuts and mix in with the spatula. The rest of the hazelnuts use for decoration at the top of the bread.
- Add dry ingredients to a bowl with wet ingredients. I do this on 2-3 occasions because it's easier for me this way. Let it sit for 15 minutes.
- In the meantime preheat the oven to 170°C and line your loaf pan with baking paper. The dimensions of my loaf pan are 26 cm x 6 cm x 12 cm.
- Transfer the prepared mixture to the loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until the toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out almost clean.
- Cool, cut, and enjoy!