Creating a recipe for a vegan and gluten-free banana bread was my Mount Everest. Taking out wheat flour, dairy and eggs from traditional cake baking left me with just bananas and sugar, but, thanks to the know-how of Freddie Janssen of Snackbar in London (whose vegan tahini banana bread is excellent), as well as a generous online community who recommended buckwheat flour, plus seven rounds of testing, I finally arrived at a recipe that, personally, I cannot keep my hands off.
Tahini banana bread
You’ll need a 1kg loaf tin.
Prep 5 min
Cook 1 hr 15 min
Makes 1 x 1kg loaf
2 tbsp rapeseed oil, plus extra for greasing
250g buckwheat flour
1½ tbsp milled flax seed
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp bicarbonate of soda
¾ tsp fine sea salt
5 large bananas, peeled to get 400g flesh – save the excess to decorate
80g tahini – I like Cypressa brown
180g light brown soft sugar
1½ tsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
200ml whole oat milk – check it’s gluten-free, because not all brands are
Good vegan butter, to serve – such as Naturli
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Line a 1kg loaf tin with a long strip of baking paper, making sure some hangs over the edges, and grease the sides with a little oil.
Put the buckwheat flour, milled flax, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a large bowl and whisk to distribute everything evenly.
In another bowl, use a fork to mash 400g bananas to a paste, then add the tahini, sugar, oil, vinegar, vanilla and oat milk. Mix well, then scrape into the flour bowl and mix until the batter is smooth and uniform.
Pour into the lined tin, then tap it on a work bench to level out the surface and release any air bubbles. Thinly slice the remaining banana into 12 coins and lay these on top of the cake in four rows of three, as in the photograph.
Bake for 30 minutes, then turn down the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4, turn the tin around and bake for a further 30 minutes, until the top of the bread is golden and a skewer comes out clean. Take out of the oven, leave to cool in the tin, then lift out using the baking paper “handles”. Cut into thick slices, spread with vegan butter and serve.