Warm and enticing, baked goods are known to be indulgent comfort food; from spiced up carrot cakes drowning in vanilla frosting, to classic chocolate and vanilla marble cakes and everything in between.
With an increasing awareness however around what we eat, and with more and more people opting to try and maintain some sort of a healthy diet, butter-drenched and sugar-filled baked goods are starting be replaced with healthier versions of themselves.
This relatively new rise in people looking for healthier alternatives of baked goods they can indulge in, has translated across a number of local bakeries that have started offering a healthy range of desserts in addition to their more traditional options.
One such local bakery is Whole Slice Bakery, who are mostly known for their unparalleled banana bread, as well as other innovative creations such as their tahini molasses loaf and their caramelized pecan muffins.
“With all the information available to us online now, the awareness that people have of what they put in their bodies has never been higher,” explains 27-year-old Hannah Altmann, owner, founder and chef of Whole Slice Bakery. “Therefore, we want Whole Slice Bakery to be a place where everyone can find a nice treat to enjoy; whether someone wants to indulge in a creamy almond cupcake with cinnamon buttercream or enjoy a flourless chocolate cake, we’re happy to cater to everyone,” she continues.
Altmann started her baking business in March 2019 following her passion for baking and food. Wanting to go beyond the norm, she set out with the intention of offering both new and refreshing combinations of flavors, as well as a variety of ‘healthier’ options.
“I’d definitely say that baking banana bread is what I was known for when I first started baking. It’s my favorite cake in terms of making it and eating it too… the logo of Whole Slice Bakery is based on my love for Banana Bread,” says Altmann, “[it] is also the first recipe that I took from my mom and then developed my own recipe based on hers.”
Known for her wonderfully balanced banana bread, Altmann also decided to create a healthy alternative of her most coveted baked good. Following its success, she introduced more and more variations of her baked goods; from vegan options to those that are flourless or gluten-free.
Altmann’s baking and cooking journey started ever since she was a teenager. Over the years, she grew a particular fondness towards baking. “When I started baking, I loved creating desserts for my family and friends. I received a lot of feedback which was very useful,” she recalls.
Following her graduation from university, Altmann worked at a newly established restaurant in Cairo for two years before heading to London to pursue her passion. Whilst there, she interned at a local bakery, after which she joined the team of bakers full-time.
“I learned a lot. I remained in the job for just over a year. I started off with limited responsibility; over the weeks and months that followed, my responsibilities slowly increased and I was often left in charge of the kitchen to the branch I was assigned to. We would bake and decorate hundreds of cakes, cupcakes and pies on a daily basis,” says Altmann.
The young baker then decided to return to Egypt to pursue her lifelong dream of opening her very own bakery. “After many hours of recipe testing and menu creating, I took the leap of faith and founded Whole Slice Bakery,” she says.
Altmann’s passion shines through her creations, and the proof lies in the widespread popularity she has garnered over a short time span. “For me, almost everything I do is connected to food. It’s a way to communicate with my loved ones. When I put in time, effort and lots of love into the goods I bake, it’s my way of expressing love and gratitude to my family, friends and clients,” explains Altmann.
When it comes to what the future holds in store for Whole Slice Bakery, Altmann simply says, “I want to remain innovative in my creations and continue to maintain a high level of quality. I also envision the business steadily growing into something that will continue to bring happiness into people’s lives.”
Adding an extra dose of happiness to people’s lives, Altmann also graciously shared the healthy version of her famous banana bread recipe with Egyptian Streets.
Whole Slice Bakery’s
Refined Sugar-Free & Dairy-Free Banana Bread Recipe
80 grams honey
1 tsp vanilla
3 large and ripe bananas, mashed
80 ml dairy free milk (almond/oat milk for example)
80 ml oil
200 grams wholemeal flour
2 tsp baking soda
1. Preheat your oven to 160C.
2. Grease and line your baking tin.
3. In a large mixing bowl add the honey, eggs and vanilla and mix very well.
4. dd the mashed bananas, dairy free milk and oil; mix again until combined.
5. Fold in the flour and baking soda into the mixture.
6. Bake in a loaf tin or an 8-inch round tin for 50-60 minutes.