Nut breads make many appearances throughout the Redwall series, and it makes sense. Squirrels, mice, and other small critters do eat a lot of nuts and seeds. This banana almond bread was inspired by the nut bread Matthias eats for breakfast in the first Redwall book.
As a kid, I was never a fan of banana nut bread, but then I realized that it was the walnuts everybody used that I didn’t like. Banana bread is delicious, but I am not a fan of walnuts. So, when I decided to make a nut bread inspired by Redwall, I set out to find a recipe that used a different kind of nut. I found all sorts of interesting recipes, including a coconut bread with macadamia nuts, which sounded amazing, but I figured macadamia nuts were a little too exotic for Redwall. I finally settled on a banana almond bread recipe from Your Cup of Cake. I altered the recipe a bit to fit my needs. First, I incorporated the almonds into the bread itself, whereas the original recipe put the almonds on the top. Second, I divided the recipe in half to make only one loaf instead of two.
Banana Almond Bread Recipe
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter (1/2 stick), softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1/2 cup slivered or sliced almonds
- Beat together the butter and sugar until well incorporated.
- Add the egg, and mix until fluffy
- Pour the milk and flavor extracts into the mix, and stir well.
- Sift in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, and mix until just incorporated (don’t overmix!)
- Add the bananas and almonds and mix until you can’t see big chunks of banana anymore.
- Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 60 minutes, or until cooked through and browned on top. If the bread starts to get too brown on top before it’s finished cooking in the middle, cover it with some foil for the duration of the cooking period.
Let me tell you, this almond bread smelled absolutely divine while it was baking, and it tasted amazing, too. I can’t wait to experiment with other nut breads in the future, perhaps for another Redwall breakfast menu!
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