By Chaya Rappoport
This recipe originally appeared on The Nosher.
Maybe it’s the home comfort it exudes, maybe it’s how easy it is to make, but for a variety of, mostly inexplicable, reasons, banana bread has become everyone’s quarantine darling. There were a couple of weeks where I couldn’t scroll through Instagram without seeing at least three loaves on my feed.
Google confirmed it: Banana bread searches are way up compared to other baked goods.
I’ll be honest: I didn’t get on board until recently. Besides for having a serious aversion to all things banana, I just couldn’t see the appeal of a loaf made of overripe, mushy fruit. Where was the razzle-dazzle, the sex appeal?
It wasn’t until I made a batch of spelt banana muffins for my mom that I slowly began to change my mind. The muffins were delicious, the bananas a mere background flavor against the maple syrup, tahini and chocolate I added. Those flavors inspired this banana bread.
Made with spelt flour and olive oil for a tender crumb, and tahini and sesame oil for savory nuttiness, this is a loaf I can truly get behind. The chopped dates bake up chewy and caramelized, the chocolate melts into pockets throughout the bread, and the sesame seeds on top add a subtle crunch. I like toasting slices and serving them with pats of butter and maple syrup, but it’s excellent on its own, warm from the oven.
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