Pairing poppy seeds with fruit is my latest baking obsession. It all began when I tried an out-of-this-world recipe for plum poppy seed muffins in Deb Perleman’s The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook. As Perleman remarks in the recipe’s introduction, it’s a shame that poppy seeds tend to be limited to one baked good – lemon poppyseed muffins – when there’s a whole world of fruit out there to pair it with. Plum and poppy seeds were amazing together, so why not apricots? Or figs? Or bananas? When I set out to make use of some overripe bananas one morning and try the Bestest Banana Bread recipe from Food 52’s Baking cookbook, I threw in a tablespoon of poppy seeds. They added a subtle crunch, nice flavor, and depth to the bread’s color. Not to mention, you really must try this banana bread recipe: it truly lives up to its name.
Banana Poppy Seed Bread
Adapted from Baking, a cookbook by the editors of Food52
4 very ripe bananas
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted (I browned my butter for additional flavor)
1-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 cup sugar
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup plain yogurt (I used full-fat Greek yogurt)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork. Mix in melted butter, egg, vanilla, and sugar.
In a small bowl, mix together flour, poppy seeds, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. Fold flour mixture into banana mixture and then add yogurt, folding in until just combined.
Pour batter into a buttered loaf pan and bake until golden brown, about 50 minutes. The dough should spring back when you touch it.
Let cool completely before slicing. Leftovers can be wrapped in foil and stored in the fridge for several days.