Caramel. Banana. Bread. Someone please tell me. Why have we been making basic banana bread all these years when we could have been caramelizing the bananas first?? I can’t take credit for this genius though – that goes to Carla Bartolucci, founder of Jovial Foods and Bionature and author of the new cookbook Einkorn: Recipes for Nature’s Original Wheat. (Side Note: The folks at Jovial are sponsoring a giveaway of the book PLUS baking supplies for my readers, which you’ll find below!)If you’ve never heard of einkorn wheat before, let me school you for a sec because it’s cool. You know how old stuff is in style again? Like flannels and mid-century modern furniture and peasant tops (like Joey used to wear on Dawson’s Creek every episode)? Well einkorn is ancient, so it’s got a hella cool factor now. It’s snatched.
Einkorn is one of the earliest varieties of wheat, according to the Whole Grains Council. Like hunter gatherer-old. Its genetic makeup is simpler than modern wheat (it has only 28 chromosomes versus 42 in modern wheat), and it has never been hybridized – the original strain is the same one you’ll eat today. Studies have shown it’s tolerated better by people who are sensitive to gluten. Researchers in Japan looked at 324 varieties of wheat from around the world and found that einkorn was among the least likely to trigger allergies to gluten, gliadin (a component of gluten that helps bread rise) and alpha-amylase (an enzyme used to break down gluten). This ancient grain is also higher in disease-fighting antioxidants, protein, potassium, and lutein (for eye health) than modern wheat. And bonus, whenever you see einkorn on a label, it’s almost always whole grain.
In my experience, baking with einkorn flour produces a grainier, chewier, more firm product – not cakey, moist, and melty like modern wheat flours. So the amazing banana bread is more like an actual bread (like the name implies), and less like a rich dessert. Which I love about it. The other great thing is how little added sugar is in this recipe. Ripe bananas are naturally sweet, and einkorn has a mild sweetness itself so you don’t need to add much more. Just 1/2 cup in the whole loaf.
Pro Tip: Want to make this now? Don’t have ripe bananas? Learn how to ripen bananas in just 30 minutes.
The Einkorn Giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway
Prizes: (1) Einkorn cookbook, (1) 2-lb bag of einkorn flour, (1) 1-lb bag of wheat berries, (1) linencouche (for making bread), and (1) dough spoon