Sesame Banana Bread Recipe
A banana bread absolutely packed with sesame seeds, made with a blend of whole wheat and white flour, yogurt, ripe bananas, and lemon zest.
I brought this twist on banana bread on our ill-fated camping trip. I imagined a slice of it would be perfect mid-hike, preferably somewhere near an alpine lake. We have an endless amount of toasted sesame seeds around the house (jars, bags, bins), because Wayne bakes the sesame version of the Tartine country loaf a couple times a week. I was set on the idea of banana bread for the hike, and it occurred to me that a sesame banana bread might be something worth trying, with a tangy lemon icing that cuts. And the way I imagined it, this loaf wouldn't have just a sprinkling of sesame seeds, it would be sesame madness.
A couple shots for the campsite and the drive in. I think I took five frames with my camera, before getting sick. These were three of them :/
If you make the bread, I'll tell you, I like the mix of black and white sesame seeds. The black ones are more visible and seem to lend a more direct sesame flavor. Also, feel free to experiment with the glaze. Initially, I thought I'd try to make a vanilla-tahini glaze, but in the mad dash to get the car packed, I went for the lemon glaze I knew set nicely, (and because the lemon offsets the denseness of the banana crumb nicely)...
Sesame Banana Bread
As I mention up above, I use a mix of black and white sesame seeds. More than anything, it makes the seeds more visible.
1 cup / 4.5 oz / 125g all-purpose flour
1 cup / 5 oz / 140g whole wheat flour
3/4 cup / 4.5 oz / 125 g dark brown sugar (or muscovado)
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 1/3 cups / 7 ounces / 200 g toasted sesame seeds
1/3 cup / 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups / 12 oz / 340 g mashed, VERY ripe bananas (~3 bananas)
1/4 cup / 60 ml plain, whole milk yogurt (or keffir)
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
For the glaze:
1/2 cup / 3 oz / 85 g sifted dark brown sugar (muscovado)
1/2 cup / 2 oz / 55g confectioners' sugar
4-6 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350° F, and place a rack in the center. Butter and flour a 9- by 5- inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan, or equivalent.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add 1 cup / 5 1/2 oz / 150g + 1 tablespoon of the sesame seeds and combine well.
In a separate bowl, mix together the olive oil, eggs, mashed banana, yogurt, and zest. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and fold with a spatula until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown, about 45 minutes. You want to achieve beautiful color on the cake, but at the same time you don't want to bake all the moisture out of it. So the minute you're in that zone, pull it, erring on the side of under-baking versus over.
Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, prepare the glaze. In a bowl, whisk together the sugars and the lemon juice until smooth. When the cake is completely cool, drizzle the glaze on top of the cake, spreading with a spatula to cover, and finish with the remaining sesame seeds.
This is a quirky variation of Melissa Clark's beautiful banana bread (which I wrote up last year).
Prep time: 10 minutes - Cook time: 45 minutes
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simply delicious! do you think this could work as a zucchini rather than a banana bread? our garden is currently insisting that i find more & more & more (& more...) zucchini recipes...& i am a fan of your brand of sesame madness!
This looks amazing! Any suggestions for replacing the yogurt? Would a cultured almond milk or other non-dairy alternative work?
O! These pictures make me so homesick for California. Excited to try this...the lemony olive oil banana bread is a favorite around here.
I never thought of putting sesame seeds in banana bread, but now that I think of it, it seems like a great idea! Get well soon!
How disappointing that your trip was cut short! I have to say though, I was tickled to hear that you deliberate over what treats to make for a trip. I do the same thing. I hope you're well on your way to feeling better.
What a fabulous idea! I love the lemon drizzle with the sesame seeds!! A perfectly timed recipe as I was just looking for a bread to make to celebrate the unofficial arrival of fall in NYC...why does summer always go so quickly.
What a brilliant thing to bring on a hike!
I've been living in Korea and have come to love black sesame seeds. They do have a stronger sesame flavor, and the color contrast is nice. Adding the sesame seeds and glaze puts a great twist on banana bread!
This is such an interesting idea! So creative :)
I love banana bread but I also need to be gluten-free. It took me about 10 tries to get a banana bread recipe that I loved (gluten-free). But I finally did it! Now I am thinking... why not add a glaze and some seeds? I think I just might try that. At least the lemon part- yum...
Heidi, I was just thinking that I need a new banana bread. This looks perfect. A question about the salt: When you say "fine grain sea salt," do you mean the sea salt that most resemble table salt? Thanks! HS: Hi Jess. Yes, mostly I just mean, not the flaky kind (which measures differently).
I'm getting a lovely east-meets-west feel here with the combination of sesame seeds and banana bread. Very warm and serene.
What great flavors - banana, sesame seeds and lemon! I can just imagine the trio that they make together.
Here's the thing....I have a craving for bananas at the moment, so will definitely have a go at this. No, I'm not pregnant btw! But I can't stop eating them...I made banana, chocolate and walnut bread last week, and it was so so moreish... Look forward to trying this banana bread with a twist...
Sesame and banana sounds like an intriguing combination and this bread looks so right for the changing seasons. Such a shame your holiday was cut short. Hope you are on the mend now.
I've always found it funny when sesame seeds are used as a decoration; their flavor is so wonderful, but you need more than a sprinkling to appreciate it. This bread sounds delicious and with its 200g of sesame seeds promises to be chock full of sesame flavor. I also love the mix of black and white because beyond taste it lends beauty to the bread.
What a beautiful rustic banana bread, It is perfect to bring as a snack during a long hike. I think I'll try to add some tahini to the glaze, it will be an interesting and hopefully delicious experiment.
Who wouldn't want some of this sesame madness? Hope you're feeling better!
I love the idea of sesame seeds with banana! I've pinned this to try - I have a feeling i'll be making this a lot. Totally agree on the mix of sesame seeds. I do the same thing when I use them on baked tofu dishes.
Your bread is gorgeous and so creative! I've been on SUCH a banana bread kick the past few weeks, making all kinds of different versions and flavors. Need to try yours next!
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