Buckwheat Rosewater Banana Bread

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If you know me, you know that I’m not much of a baker. Baking has always felt intimidating because it relies on being exact and calculated, which doesn’t come naturally to me. I prefer the feel and intuition that comes when cooking. If something doesn’t taste right, you know right away and have the space to make adjustments. With baking, you must get every step just right in order to achieve a delicious outcome. But, I’ve made a pact with myself this year to just give baking a chance. Like any skill, I’m realizing it takes practice. I’m trying my best to have fun and play rather than needing to have the recipe turn out well. Failing is inevitable and a big part of the lesson in cooking, or baking for that matter. Besides, our compost pile won’t mind the extra inputs if, heaven forbid I make something inedible.

What I love about this banana bread recipe is that its super simple and has a good base to play around with the flavor combinations. There’s something so comforting about buckwheat and it lends a wonderful earthy flavor to this loaf, unlike your typical super sweet banana bread. The addition of rosewater makes it extra special with a hint of floral that plays off of the sweetness of the ripe bananas. And lastly, the black sesame seed, coconut sugar and rose petal topping is not only beautiful but gives it a nice texture when taking a bite. It only gets better by cutting warm slice and spreading on softened ghee and a good pinch of flake salt. Its a hearty loaf that feels decadent without being too sweet. I find it perfect as a breakfast bite or a mid-afternoon snack with tea.

Ingredients

2 cups organic buckwheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ tablespoon ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons sea salt

4 ripe bananas

1/4 cup maple syrup

1 tablespoon rosewater

3-4 cups water

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

¼ cup walnuts, rough chopped

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

1 tablespoon black sesame seeds

1/2 tablespoon dried rose petals

ghee with a sprinkle of flake salt, to serve

Method

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and make sure you’re oven rack is in the middle of the oven. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or coat well with ghee so you can easily remove the banana bread. In a small bowl, make the topping by mixing the coconut sugar, sesame seeds and rose petals together and set aside. In a mixing bowl, whisk together buckwheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another mixing bowl, smash the bananas until smooth.

Add in the maple syrup, rosewater, water and vanilla to the smashed bananas and mix until smooth. Add your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients and mix with a wooden spoon. Don't be afraid to add more water if the batter looks too dry. Pour batter into your loaf pan and smooth out the top. Sprinkle your topping mixture on evenly and pop into the oven to bake for about 40 minutes, making sure to rotate the loaf about halfway through the cooking time. Test the center with a toothpick and if it comes out clean, the loaf is done. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing.

*Recipe adapted from Jasmine Hemsley, East by West.