Post-Christmas baking.

Banana Bread 1

Today I realised I had a bunch of bananas going off a lot quicker than I had bargained for, due to the extreme heat we’ve been having.  I usually freeze these to use in smoothies, but standing in the kitchen in my pj’s this morning, I decided some of them had to be used to make banana bread.

I love banana bread, but like most cakes and other sweet treats, only make it very occasionally.  Mostly because I live alone, so i’m the only one around to eat it!  So as much as I love baking, I have to contain myself to doing it every now and then, for moderation’s sake.

I have two quite different ‘favourite’ banana bread recipes.  One is quite sweet and cakey – very much a traditional cafe style banana bread.  The other is a bit more ‘rustic’, and not so sweet – and has the advantage of being very easy to make.  I don’t have to drag the mixer out or do anything complicated – it’s pretty much a two-bowl affair, and easy to clean up.  This is the one I made today…sooooo yummy!

I adapted this recipe from one I found in a doctor’s surgery magazine…thank god for camera phones, you no longer need to suffer the indignity of being caught ripping something out of their magazines and stuffing it into your bag…I just take a quick snap of the recipe and I can remain guilt-free!  Anyway, the disadvantage of this is that I have no idea what magazine it came from…so apologies to whichever publication i’ve based this on.

Southpaw’s Banana Bread Number 1

Ingredients

  • 1 3/4 cups (260g) plain flour (I have used white, wholemeal and GF plain flour for this recipe, all work well)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2/3 firmly packed cup (150g) dark brown sugar
  • 100g chopped walnuts
  • 3 large over-ripe bananas
  • 2 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100g unsalted butter, melted & cooled

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 175C.  Lightly grease 11cm x 22cm loat pan and line base and long sides with a sheet of baking paper, leaving about 2cms overhanging (this will help you to lift it out of the tin later).
  2. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder, soda & 1/2 tsp salt into a bowl with the brown sugar, and then add the nuts.  (Let’s face it though – who owns a sifter these days, and i’m far too lazy for that anyway – I just chuck all of the above and mix well, pressing out any lumps in the sugar before adding the nuts.  Same deal, and it seems to work fine).
  3. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, then stir in the beaten egg, vanilla extract and cooled melted butter.  Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until they’re just combined – try not to overmix.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared pan, place in the oven and bake for 1 hour, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.  Let it cool in the pan for 10 mins, then pull it out using the paper ‘handles’ and turn it onto a wire rack to cool.

Serves 8-10 polite people in one sitting, or 1 greedy person in about 5-6 sittings.  Also freezes well.  Enjoy!

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