Hallo. I am learning German thanks to Duolingo. The app walks you through labeled pictures, dictation, and sentence building to teach you the basics. If you make a mistake you lose a heart, but if you make no mistakes you keep all your hearts and earn a LINGOT. I have no idea what that is but I have 22 of them now and I’m pumped about it.
Currently, I’m working through the names of common foods like strawberry, orange, wine, cheese, apple. I know what you’re thinking: German? Why on earth are you learning German? (At least that’s what Brad said. He chose Spanish.) But I’ve already put it to use! We were at the farmers’ market a few weeks ago and this scruffy looking dude in a faded navy long-sleeve tee, copper-color cargo shorts, and hiking boots walked by carrying a toddler in an enormous hiking backpack. I watched him go by because, hello. Child in enormous hiking backpack. That’s amazing. As he passed me I heard him say “apfel” to his son. Apfel! Apple! I totally understood him! (They were also walking into the apple booth, but still.)
Since then, I’ve seen Herr Apfel several times, one time with his wife and daughter, too. It’s a highlight of our weekly trip to the market. I always hope we’ll see the Germans and that I’ll be able to eavesdrop on them. Because I’m socially aware like that.
Anyway. A few days ago I learned how to say “manna”–oh, I’m sorry, I meant “chocolate.” Schokolade. And everybody whose done at least one Duolingo German lesson knows the word for bread is brot. So I’m pleased to announce I made you all schokolade brot. No, I do not know the words for buckwheat, banana, or gluten-free. But they’re probably guttural, so fill in with some throat-clearing and you’ll be set.
All you need to know about this chocolate bread is that it’s not too sweet, it’s satisfyingly chocolate-y, and it takes more than an hour to bake, so plan ahead. But it’s worth it because das schokolade brot ist gut.
Chocolate Buckwheat Banana Bread (gluten-free)
adapted from The Wednesday Chef who adapted it from HRH of baked goods Dorie Greenspan
makes one 9-inch loaf
1 cup buckwheat flour
1 cup brown rice flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup rapadura (alternatively, you can use 3/4 cup white sugar and 1/2 cup brown sugar as the original recipe suggests)
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, or a mix of all of the above
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped (we used TCHO’s 99% chocolate and even without the sweetness, it was excellent)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line a 9-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and place on two stacked baking sheets. (Luisa at The Wednesday Chef said this helps prevent the bottom from over-baking and my bottom turned out beautifully–not a euphemism–so I’m a believer.)
Whisk together the flours, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a small bowl.
In a mixer with a paddle attachment (or with a hand-held mixer), cream the butter at medium speed for about a minute. You want to get it light and fluffy, almost like you were making a cake. This bread might actually count as cake. Add the rapadura and continue beating for two minutes more. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating one minute after each. Switch the mixer to low and add the mashed bananas; stir until incorporated.
Add the flour mixture in three additions, beating to mostly incorporate each time. I stopped beating when the batter still had flour clinging to it because I could tell the leavening was already beginning to work and I didn’t want to deflate it. Gently fold in the yogurt/kefir/buttermilk and the chocolate pieces. Scrape the batter into the pan.
Bake for 30 minutes, then loosely cover the top with foil and bake another 30 minutes. At this point, I stuck a knife in the bread and it wasn’t super-clean, so I baked mine another 10 minutes. I wish I would have baked it only another 5 (for a total baking time of 65 minutes). Mine was the teeniest bit dry. Let it sit for 20 minutes in the pan, then lift it out with the parchment paper and slice.