Dairy Free Egg Free Quick Breads (Non-Yeasted) & Scones Vegan

Sourdough Banana Bread (vegan)

a loaf of vegan sourdough banana bread on an oval plate

After going on my sourdough brownie quest last year, I then ended up adding sourdough starter into other bakes to see what would work. The next thing I tried was a banana bread – I subbed some into Milli Taylors IG-famous banana bread but it didn’t seem right in the context of such a buttery loaf. I then tried it out in my regular banana bread which I thought was a much better fit. By that point, I had run out of bananas and completely abandoned my banana bread experiment!

unbaked sourdough banana bread batter topped with slices of fresh banana

Fast forward to now when everyone is baking either sourdough or banana bread and it seemed like it would be the right time to pick my testing back up! I used a vegan banana bread recipe from my first book and altered things to make use of my discard which had been collecting in the fridge. It worked fabulously and I tried it a few more times, changing and testing a few things along the way. So, I have some notes!

a few slices and a loaf of vegan sourdough banana bread

  1. You can bake this as a loaf or as muffins. I think I prefer muffins as loaves are more prone to sinking, I find, mostly because it’s harder to tell when a loaf is baked! Also loaf tins vary WILDLY so the baking times can vary a lot more. Muffins seem to be more consistent but it’s up to you and your preferences/which baking tins you own. If you’re a beginner baker and have a muffin tin, I would opt for them first, then try a loaf out another time.
  2. You can leave the batter in the fridge to actually ferment. Leaving it for ~6 hours seems to make it taste sweeter but an overnight rest (8-12 hours) means you get more of a tang in there.
  3. You can use many types of flour in the batter, as long as your sourdough is a mostly wheat-based starter (I use a 50:50 white wheat flour : dark rye flour blend for my starter). I’ve tried this with just buckwheat, a mixture of buckwheat & gram flour, and just straight up plain white flour and they all worked well.
  4. I like to decorate the top of a banana bread loaf with a sliced banana which is definitely optional and is mostly for aesthetics. I also sprinkle the top with demerara sugar for that crispy crust and that’s also optional (but recommended!!) – make sure you sprinkle a good amount on the sliced banana surface so they get nicely caramelised in the oven.
sliced sourdough vegan banana bread

Sourdough Banana Bread (vegan option)

Sourdough Banana Bread (vegan option)

Yield: 1 (2lb) loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 medium or 3 small overripe bananas (220-240g peeled weight* see notes for cups and for if you don't have enough banana)
  • 150g (3/4 cup) light brown sugar, granulated sugar or caster sugar
  • 90g (1/3 cup + 2 tsp) neutral oil or light olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp fine table salt
  • 150g (3/4 cup) sourdough starter/discard (100% hydration)
  • 120g (1 cup) plain white flour (see notes for subs)
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

Topping (optional):

  • 1 small banana, peeled & halved down its length
  • 2 tbsp demerara (raw) sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C fan (350°F). Grease a 2lb loaf tin with some oil and line with a sling of baking paper.


Hand mixing method:

  1. Peel the bananas and place onto a large plate or cutting board. Use the back of a fork to mash them until you get a glossy paste which only has a few small lumps remaining. Scrape all of the mashed banana into a medium bowl.
  2. Add the sugar, oil, cinnamon and salt. Stir together until smooth.
  3. Add the sourdough starter, flour and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) to the bowl. Stir together until combined but try not to overmix.


Food processor mixing method:

  1. Add the bananas, sugar, oil, cinnamon and salt to the bowl of the food processor. Blitz until smooth. Add the sourdough starter, flour and bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) and blitz until just combined. Scrape down the sides of the food processor to make sure everything is incorporated


Bake the loaf:

  1. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin. If using the toppings, decorate the top of the loaf with the sliced bananas (placing them on cut side-up) and sprinkle the top of the batter all over with the demerara sugar. Put the loaf tin on a baking tray (I like to do this just in case any batter overflows).
  2. Bake for 55-70 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean - try to avoid the sliced banana on top when inserting the toothpick so you're only testing the batter. If the loaf looks like it's browning too much but is not cooked through yet, tent the top with foil for the last 20 minutes of baking.
  3. Allow to cool before removing from the tin, slicing and serving.


For muffins:

  1. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin liners. Divide the batter among the muffin liners. You can sprinkle the tops with demerara sugar and coins of banana, if you'd like.
  2. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the muffins comes out clean

Notes

Mashed bananas - cups measurement: the volume of banana needed, once mashed into a glossy paste, should be around 3/4 cup plus 2 or 3 tablespoons (i.e. a scant cup).

If you don't have enough banana, make up the missing weight/volume with some yoghurt (non-dairy if you're vegan).

Fermented version: if you want that tang of sourdough here, combine all the ingredients EXCEPT the bicarbonate of soda as instructed. Leave the batter for 8-12 hours in the fridge. Once ready to bake, preheat your oven and stir the baking soda into the batter. Bake as usual. The resting period allows the sourdough microorganisms to ferment the sugars in the batter to form acid which will give your loaf a bit more tang!

Non-Vegan option: use 100g butter, melted, in place of the oil.

Flour: you can use a blend here or even an alt flour. I've used all buckwheat flour and all chickpea flour before which has worked well. I think rye or spelt flour (and obviously wholemeal pastry flour) would also work. The main flours I would avoid for this would be any type of bread flour which will make the loaf too dense. Please ask me if you need help with substitutions!

Sourdough starter: I have a 100% hydration, wheat & rye sourdough starter. I save up the discard in the fridge for a few weeks and then bake with it for this banana bread (so your starter doesn't need to be recently fed in order to make this recipe).

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28 Comments

  • Reply Tori April 14, 2020 at 6:31 am

    Okay, now this is one unique recipe that has to happen soon. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

    • Reply Izy April 14, 2020 at 12:22 pm

      Thanks, Tori! Let me know what you think 🙂

  • Reply Becky April 14, 2020 at 1:54 pm

    Wow, I just made this and it was fabulous! I’m always sad to discard my extra starter, so I’ll be doing this again and again 😊 Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Reply Izy April 14, 2020 at 1:56 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, Becky! I knowww same, hence why I like to save up my discard and make things like this banana bread with it 🙂

  • Reply Marge April 18, 2020 at 8:01 am

    How do you think coconut flour would behave in this recipe? Either full or partial substitution?

    • Reply Izy April 18, 2020 at 12:35 pm

      I’m not sure as coconut flour has a completely different absorption rate to other flours. If you’re experienced in using it and subbing it into recipes successfully then give it a go. Other wise, only sub for the flours I recommend!

  • Reply Lou April 28, 2020 at 7:53 pm

    This is so good! Second time I’m making it in a week. I added a teaspoon of ground ginger as well for a little extra kick 😊

    • Reply Izy April 29, 2020 at 1:59 pm

      YUM! Great addition, I’ve heard a pinch of ground cloves is also really good in banana bread as it enhances the banana-y flavour 🙂

  • Reply Meenakshi May 10, 2020 at 6:00 am

    Hey! This looks like a great bendable recipe. I plan to make it today! I really hope my mom loves it. I was just wondering can I use 100% whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour? How will that effect my bread? Thank you.

    • Reply Izy May 10, 2020 at 8:31 am

      Thanks! Yes all wholewheat flour should be fine here ☺️

  • Reply Priyanka May 18, 2020 at 5:36 am

    Heya,
    This looks very temtpting.
    Can i use sourdough starter discard thats is not yet ready? currently its one week old, live and bubbly but not strong enough to pass the float test.
    secondly, I have approx 40 gms of discard. Can i increase the amount of water and flour in my next feed and then use the discard from that feed to match up for this ratio? Or is there some other way around it?

    • Reply Izy May 26, 2020 at 4:25 pm

      Yes you can! It’s not being used for leavening here (just for the flour + water content) so it doesn’t need to be active/strong
      And yes you can just increase the quantity of the next feed so you get enough starter to bake with when you do the feed after that.

  • Reply Jake May 21, 2020 at 6:08 am

    Tasty bread, unfortunately leaving in the bread for the prescribed time at 400 F (with a no fan oven) left my loaf blackened. Didn’t stop me from devouring the inside 😀

    • Reply Izy May 26, 2020 at 4:26 pm

      Thanks for the feedback! I’ve updated the recipe to only include fan temp now (since I don’t have a non-fan oven) so others can use their judgement based on their own oven to choose the temp.

  • Reply MARGARITA May 21, 2020 at 6:54 am

    Wow, Looks so appetizing. I wonder if I can substitute with rice flour or potato flour.

    • Reply Izy May 26, 2020 at 4:20 pm

      I haven’t tested it with those flours but I think as long as your starter contains gluten-containing flours, it should be fine!

  • Reply Victoria May 23, 2020 at 7:43 pm

    I’ve never left a recipe review before, but this is the best banana bread I’ve ever made! The texture is incredible and the flavour is amazing. Thank you for sharing this x

    • Reply Izy May 24, 2020 at 12:04 pm

      aw thanks, Victoria! So pleased you liked it 🙂

  • Reply Sue May 23, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    This is the recipe I am looking for ! Time to use up my discards.

    Just wondering if I can cut back on the sugar – will it affect the bread ?

    Thanks

    • Reply Izy May 26, 2020 at 4:18 pm

      You can cut back the sugar, it will affect the texture of the bread though (will make it less soft and less moist) – I haven’t tested with less sugar though so it’s hard to say what the precise effect will be

      • Reply Pavlina June 23, 2020 at 8:46 pm

        I have made this 4 times already, any time bananas get to “that stage”, I go for this recipe. I have successfully baked it with half the sugar quantity, using coconut sugar and it has been delicious! Sweet enough for my taste and texture was still great. Also added chopped walnuts and dark chocolate chips 😉

        • Reply Izy June 26, 2020 at 11:21 am

          That’s great to hear! Thanks for letting me know re: the reduced coconut sugar too 🙂

  • Reply Isabel May 29, 2020 at 7:35 pm

    Really lovely recipe, just had a piece and it is so tasty!

    • Reply Izy May 30, 2020 at 6:01 pm

      Aw thanks! Glad to hear it 🙂

  • Reply Kim June 8, 2020 at 1:50 pm

    These are delicious! I just baked them and used one half cup AP flour and one half cup of spelt flour. They’re light and fluffy with a lovely sweetness!

    Next time I’m going to add some more mix ins and I think this would be great as a carrot or morning glory muffin too. And since we always have sourdough discard we’ll be making these frequently. Thank you for sharing!

    • Reply Izy June 8, 2020 at 3:08 pm

      Yum sounds delicious! Yes mix ins would be great here 🙂 Glad you liked them!

  • Reply Bel July 2, 2020 at 2:22 am

    Works beautifully! I often swap the banana for tinned pear and it is really good as well. Have tried today with peach and coconut…..smells good!

    • Reply Izy July 16, 2020 at 11:52 am

      What a delicious idea! Thanks, Bel

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