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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Banana Spelt Bread (100% Whole Grain)


This is a 100% organic, whole grain loaf of Spelt flour banana bread, Dearies! I baked this loaf for my Paula who often writes me with questions and/or helpful commentary. And in reference to helpful commentary, Ms. Paula recently got me thinking about this grain called 'Spelt' of which she is quite fond. Are you familiar with it, Dearies? If not, here is some info I pulled from Wikipedia:

Spelt (Triticum spelta) is a hexaploid species of wheat. Spelt was an important staple in parts of Europe from the Bronze Age to medieval times; it now survives as a relict crop in Central Europe and has found a new market as a health food.
Spelt has a complex history. It is a wheat species known from genetic evidence to have originated as a hybrid of a domesticated tetraploid wheat such as emmer wheat and the wild goat-grass Aegilops Tauschii. This hybridisation must have taken place in the Near East because this is where Ae. tauschii grows, and it must have taken place prior to the appearance of bread wheat (Triticum aestivum, a hexaploid free-threshing derivative of spelt) in the archeological record c. 8,000 years ago. Genetic evidence shows that spelt wheat can also arise as the result of hybridisation of bread wheat and emmer wheat.

If that all sounds a bit intense, Dearies, just know that Spelt is most likely a natural combination of Emmer Wheat and Wild Goat Grass. And, unlike the three major strains of wheat grown these days, Spelt does not have quite as long a history of being cultivated by man to a point where the gluten and other proteins have changed due to crop selection and other forms of genetic manipulation. Hence the gluten and other aspects of spelt are a bit more gentle and natural to some extent.


Oh, and, by the way, this banana bread is not just a worthy whole grain loaf. It is quite possibly the best banana bread I've ever made-moist, flavorful, and satisfying. Hence Spelt makes going whole grain quite easy, my lovelies. I hope you will give spelt a try if you haven't already...

-Here's the recipe-

1 3/4 Cups Organic, Whole Grain Spelt Flour
3/4 Cup Turbinado or White Sugar
1 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/8 Tsp. Sea Salt
2 Organic Bananas
3/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp. Soy Milk*
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1 Tsp. Real Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp. Red Wine or Apple Cider Vinegar

1/4 Cup Raw Sunflower Seeds
2 Tbsp. Oats
1 1/2 Tbsp. Sugar
1/4 Tsp. Cinnamon
Dash of Sea Salt
1 3/4 Tbsp. Earth Balance or Butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a bread pan with greased parchment paper.

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Mix thoroughly and create a well in the center. Mush the bananas through your hands allowing the mush to fall into the well. Then also add the milk, oil, vanilla, and vinegar. Mix very gently till homogeneous. Pour the batter into the pan and place in the oven on the middle rack while noting the time.

Now, place all of the topping ingredients in a small bowl and mix till thoroughly combined. Once the bread has baked for 18-19 minutes, gently pull it out of the oven and evenly sprinkle the topping over the loaf (it will still be a bit wet). Bake for another 40-45 minutes or until done in the middle.

Cool and enjoy with peanut butter or cream cheese!