At first glance this will appear to be an endless list of ingredients but I promise you this recipe is a great way to use up leftover, unrefreshed sourdough starter as well as brown bananas.  A perfect lazy day Saturday treat and if you take a few moments to weigh the ingredients when you are mixing the ferment, the following day you will be delving into a tray of moist, lightly spiced treats, in no time at all.

These muffins neither represent the dry and overly sweet cakes displayed alongside a coffee ‘to go’.  Nor are we trying to reinvent the ubiquitous banana bread.  It was simply a happy accident that a lonely and overly ripe fruit could be found lingering amongst the apples and pears and I couldn’t bear for it to be wasted.

To make the ferment or sponge, you will need…

1 very ripe banana

100 ml unrefreshed sourdough starter

50 g rice flour

50 g buckwheat flour

200 ml water at room temperature (just as you would normally use to refresh your starter)

The night before –

Remove the banana skin and mash the fruit into a mixing bowl.  Add the sourdough starter, rice flour, buckwheat flour and finally mix in the water.  Cover loosely with a clean linen cloth and leave the ferment in a cool room or larder.

Get ahead and weigh out the following for the next morning…

200 g butter left at room temperature

160 g light soft brown sugar

100 g grated carrot covered and left in the fridge overnight 

1 level teaspoon bicarbonate soda – no more else it will give the muffins a bitter after taste

2 free range eggs

100 g ground almonds

100 g spelt flour (or plain will be fine)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

3 teaspoons cider vinegar



The next morning…

Preheat conventional cooker 180 C (Fan 170 C) or Gas Mark 4

2-oven AGA slide grid shelf to the floor of the roasting oven and check that your cold, plain shelf is ready to use. 

3 & 4-oven AGA slide the grid shelf to fourth set of runners in the baking oven. 

Preheat conventional cooker 180 C (Fan 170 C) or Gas Mark 4

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar together.  Add the grated carrot and mix well.

Sift the dry ingredients together.

Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk together. Add to the mixing bowl along with the mashed banana ferment, the honey and vinegar.  Mix well and then add the dry ingredients. Work quickly to combine so that there are no lumps or dry ingredients remaining.  As soon as possible, add two generous tablespoons into each muffin case, spread evenly.  Bake in the preheated oven for 25 – 35 minutes.  When ready, the muffins should be golden brown and risen, resisting your touch when gently pressed.

Carefully remove from the  bun tins and cool on a wire rack. Enjoy warm with ricotta or coconut yoghurt and a drizzle of honey. 

Store up to four days in a tin or freeze for three months.