My Everyday Banana Bread with Nigella Seeds | First bake in the new Oven

August 20, 2019

I decided to share this Banana quick bread with aniseed and nigella seeds (kalonji) recipe again not only because this is the first oven bake in my kitchen here in Abu Dhabi but also the easiest bake for beginners. There is no "creaming the butter" or "using hand mixer" or anything that intimidates you to try baking!

Banana Bread with Aniseed and Nigella seeds | First bake in my new Oven

I already have a very popular Banana Quick Bread Loaf with Nigella Seeds recipe that was baked on the stovetop during Yanbu days but today's recipe is not very different from that but even better!

As shared in my this life lately post, we had moved into our flat in Feb this year and continued to Zomato the meals while deciding on a model of the cooking range.  Well, it was fixed in our very first visit to Sharaf DG but we never got back to buy it for many reasons including the fact that we were not happy with the apartment. But with a blink of an eye, we already were at the footsteps of Ramadan and so we zeroed in on Siemens which arrived the very next day.

I now, totally understand when they say every oven is different and I definitely have a long way before I build a good rapport with mine. When a recipe states bake at this temp for this much time, I am at a loss of clarity on what mode to choose - 3D Hot air, Hot air gentle or Top/bottom heating?  and which rack to place the tin? The manual describes them in a language that is too technical for me so I tried baking this recipe in all three modes. Nope, I can't seem to say which one is the best, but I am sharing the recipe that my man enjoyed eating.



About My Everyday Banana Bread with Nigella Seeds

I am calling this as my everyday banana bread because the recipe is so forgiving that you can use this as a base and make many makeovers. This is quick bread has just the right moist texture, sweet banana and demerara sugar flavours, and incredibly soft crumb, this is my best ever banana bread recipe that I can blindly bake. You’ll just need 2 very ripe bananas that look too bad to eat as is! :-D

And the best part is you don't need to take out any appliances, your good old fork or whisk will be enough!

Banana Bread with Aniseed and Nigella seeds | First bake in my new Oven
This banana bread pic was baked in 180c hot air gentle mode for 30 mins, using oil in the batter.

Power Ingredients of this Banana Bread 

  • Whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour: We will be using both kinds but feel free to make it all maida or all atta!
  • Demerara SugarThis has a natural caramel-like flavour, unlike brown sugar, which has the added molasses flavour. Demerara sugar, gives a warm caramel note to whatever you add it to, so I highly recommended it but if you don't have it, then just use any kind brown or white granulated sugar. This also goes by the name Turbinado sugar, so if you find that then it is the same as demerara.
  • Nigella seeds, aniseed and cardamom powder: The bold flavours! You can use sesame, chia, flax, etc or if nuts are your thing, pecans, walnuts, etc
  • Ghee: anytime! 
  • Banana: Overripe and all-black skin is the best choice to bake as it would be in its sweetest form so you don't need a lot of added sugar. 

How to make the batter for banana quick bread?

The best thing about this recipe is you don't have to take out any gadgets to make this bread. All you need is two bowls, one whisk, and a rubber spatula! Mixing technique is called muffin mixing method! 
  1. Whisk the dry ingredients 
  2. Whisk the wet ingredients
  3. Add the wet to the dry 
  4. Fold gently taking care not to overdo (bits of dry flour is okay)
  5. Pour into a greased loaf and bake
Like a new oven baker, I had to try this recipe in a few different oven settings and temperature and I can't make my mind on which one is the best! I guess I am too biased to Banana Bread. 

Banana Bread with Aniseed and Nigella seeds | First bake in my new Oven
This banana bread pic was baked top/bottom heating 180c 35 mins using ghee instead of oil. - our fav version.

Aniseed and Nigella Seeds

I had picked aniseed long back while in Yanbu to make a Lebanese sweet recipe which I have not shared but the spice became my favourite since then. I don't think we use this in our cuisine or I am not aware of it. I tried to google the regional name but only found a Hindi version and seems it is called Choti saunf but I am not very sure about that too. If you cannot find it, just skip it and use only nigella seeds (kalonji)

If you are interested to know more about aniseed, and why it is not same as fennel seeds that most of them assume, do check this article by Spiceography

I don't have to introduce Kalonji, right? Nigella seeds are more common than aniseed and are widely used across the country so I am hoping you can try this bread even if you cannot source aniseed.

Yes, you can either add just aniseed or just nigella seeds or none or both... you do you! I am not delving into the million possibilities of making Banana bread but let's stick to seeds as this post is about it. So other options would be poppy seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds, flaxseeds! But trust me these don't have the flavour that aniseed or nigella seeds impart!

Quantity of mashed bananas in this bread

I used to add 3/4 cup of mashed bananas but learnt that my man doesn't like bits of banana visible in the bread slice and he won't eat. So I reduced to 1/2 cup and it got sold! So I will suggest adding a minimum 1/2 cup and you can go up to 3/4 cup.

In case you have only one banana and it yields only 1/4 cup mashed, then add 1/4 cup more liquid in the form of milk, buttermilk or whisked yoghurt.

Like I said, a very forgiving recipe!

My Everyday Banana Bread with Nigella Seeds | First bake in the new Oven
This banana bread pic was baked in 3D Hot air mode at 180c  for 35 mins using oil and buttermilk. 

Okay, let's get going with the recipe now...

Banana Bread with Aniseed and Nigella seeds

INGREDIENTS

Dry Ingredients: 
1/2 cup of wheat flour
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup demerara sugar or brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
a pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds and more to sprinkle on top
1/2 teaspoon aniseed

Wet Ingredients:
1 large egg 
1/4 cup melted ghee
1/2 cup mashed banana (approx 1 medium Chiquita) 
1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence

METHOD 

Baking mode details:
  • Place the oven wire rack in the middle (level 3) 
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C on top/bottom or 3D hot air mode
  • Lightly grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan or coat with nonstick spray and line the bottom with baking paper 
Prepare the batter:
  1. Add all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine (use a balloon whisk)
  2. In a smaller bowl, beat the egg, then add the mashed banana, cooled melted ghee and vanilla essence
  3. Whisk the wet ingredients until well incorporated
  4. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients using a rubber spatula
  5. DO NOT overmix. Bits of dry flour is okay. Fold in the same direction
Bake the banana bread:
  1. Pour the batter into the lined loaf pan and smooth the surface
  2. Keep the pan on the middle rack of the preheated oven
  3. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until it passes the toothpick test
  4. Place the loaf pan on a rack for a few minutes and run a spatula around to release the bread. Make sure you remove the bread from the tin sooner so it doesn't get wet from the steam buildup inside. 
  5. Let the bread cool completely on a wire rack
  6. Slice and serve with chai or coffee
  7. Store at room temperature in an airtight box for 2 to 4 days or in the fridge for a week or in the freezer for a month or until it lasts. 
Banana Bread with Aniseed and Nigella seeds | First bake in my new Oven

Check out for more banana recipes or more recipes using nigella seeds

I keep one or two bananas to get overripe so that I can make banana bread. Are you like me or you bake to save the bananas? :-) Let me know in the comments.

Banana Bread with Aniseed and Nigella seeds | First bake in my new Oven

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