Sunday, 27 October 2013

From Sourdough to Einkorn Banana Bread –- Part 2

We learned how to make basic Sourdough Banana Bread last week. Today, I’ll reveal the method I used to transition from a sourdough banana quick bread made completely with white flour to a sourdough quick bread made completely with Einkorn flour.



I wanted to make a banana bread I could call my own using only Einkorn flour. Sometimes, I just start substituting and hope for the best. This time, I decided to take a more thoughtful approach. 

I started with this Sourdough Banana Bread recipe from Cultures for Health.

One of best things about making banana bread is that you can use overripe bananas instead of throwing them away. I had a bunch of overripe bananas so I was able to do a good bit of experimenting this month.


1st Attempt: White Starter/White Flour/Coconut Oil with Nuts

The first time I tried this bread, I made it exactly by the recipe. I used a white flour sourdough starter, white all-purpose flour and coconut oil and added 1/2 cup walnuts. I didn’t ferment the dough. I added 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and baked it right away. This is the version featured in From Sourdough to Banana Bread and Beyond. It’s a good bread but I didn’t want to stop there.



2nd Attempt: White Starter/White & Whole Grain Einkorn Flour/Coconut Oil without Nuts

The second time I made this banana bread, I continued with the white flour sourdough starter, and coconut oil, but this time I only used 1 cup of white all-purpose flour, and to that I added 1 cup of home milled whole grain Einkorn flour.  I omitted the nuts because I didn’t have any. I let the batter ferment for 8 hours and when it was time to bake, I didn’t add any baking soda. This bread tasted really good, but the coconut oil and fermented sourdough overpowered the banana flavor so it didn’t really taste like banana bread to me.



3rd Attempt: White Starter/80% Extraction Einkorn Flour/Whole Grain Einkorn Flour/Coconut Oil without Nuts

By the time I got to this version, I was a little overzealous. I used the white starter again, but I didn’t use any white flour. I used 1 cup of 80% extraction Einkorn flour and 1 cup of home milled whole grain Einkorn flour. I also used coconut oil and omitted the nuts.

To bring out the banana flavor, I used a trick I learned when I was making Ultimate Banana Bread. In this method, you microwave the bananas on high until the liquid is released and the bananas are soft, about 3-5 minutes. In that recipe, they recommend using bananas that are just ripe. My bananas were very ripe so I only microwaved them for a minute to bring out the flavor. I didn’t liquefy them because I didn’t want to change the texture of the bread too much.


I let the batter ferment for 8 hours again and used 1/2 baking soda to neutralize the sourdough flavor. However in my eagerness, I didn’t bake the loaf long enough so it didn’t bake all of the way through. The flavor was really good. It reminded me of Amish Friendship Bread. After I cut a couple of slices, I realized it wasn’t baked through so I had to throw the rest of it out.


4th & 5th Attempts: Einkorn Sourdough Starter/80% Extraction Einkorn Flour/Whole Grain Einkorn Flour/Butter with Nuts

Even though the 3rd bread wasn’t a complete success, I felt pretty confident that if I had baked it long enough, it would’ve been fine. So, I continued on to the last phase of my experiment. Fortunately, I still had some bananas left to experiment with.

For this version, I used my Einkorn Sourdough Starter, Einkorn flour, butter instead of coconut oil and I included nuts.

They say the third time is the charm, but in this case, the fourth and fifth times were the charm. The fourth time to get the recipe down and the fifth time to get the photos right.

It took me several weeks, but I finally created a Sourdough Einkorn Banana Bread to call my own.


Sourdough Einkorn Banana Bread

Makes: 1 9x5-inch Loaf


  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup Einkorn Sourdough Starter
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups 80% extraction Einkorn flour (from Jovial Foods)
  • 1 cup whole grain Einkorn flour (home milled)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup raw sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts)
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda (to neutralize the sourdough flavor)



1. Cream the butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla. 

2. Nuke the bananas in the microwave for 1 minute, then mash them. Mix the sourdough starter and mashed bananas into the creamed mixture.

3. In a separate bowl, add the flour, and salt. Add the flour mixture to banana mixture and mix just until combined. Be careful not to over-mix. 

4. Let the batter ferment for at least 7 hours.  Then mix in 1/2 teaspoon baking soda.

5. Pour the batter into a greased 9x5-inch bread pan.

6. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.

7. Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing. 

8. Remove the loaf from the pan to a wire rack and let it cool completely before slicing.  Try to wait until the next day if you can to let it develop it’s full flavor.

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I used my new ceramic baker to bake this Sourdough Einkorn Banana Bread. I love baking in this ceramic baker. It’s my favorite color.



Now, I have a banana bread to call my own. I hope you enjoy it.

Happy Baking!



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