Banana Bread

Baking may sometimes seem a little daunting if we are new to it. We could very well be interested but may be overwhelmed by the prospect of a recipe that seems beyond our capabilities. The key to overcoming that is trying out something that is simple and getting positive results. This banana bread recipe is a perfect example of a recipe that requires little effort but yields so much, including our confidence in the baking department.

Confidence will lead to the motivation to trying out something new. Only by trying new things can it lead us to self-improvement. Self-improvement leads to self-confidence; and as Arthur Ashe once said, “An important key to self-confidence is preparation”. It is only by doing in the kitchen that we can improve but to help put you in the best position to succeed there are a couple of things you can do. An electronic scales will make your life infinitely easier when it comes to measuring accurately and including the option of weighing dry and wet ingredients. Try to avoid guessing. Baking is a science and specific measurements are vital to the success of your final product.

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Banana Bread

Banana bread is a great way of using up those overripe bananas lurking in your fruit basket. In fact, in this recipe the more overripe the better, as the bananas will have developed a mature sweetness that works really well. A handy tip for using bananas that are past their date for eating on their own is to freeze them whole for use at a later date. This is particularly useful if you don’t have the time or the ingredients at hand to make this recipe when the bananas start to turn. Just be aware that when frozen the skin will turn completely black but the flesh inside is perfect for using in this recipe. The baked bread is also suitable for freezing or indeed you could individually wrap slices in clingfilm and freeze, ready to pop under a hot grill for a quick breakfast with a warm coffee. Alternatively, you could fry slices in a little butter and serve with some ice-cream for a decadent dessert or weekend brunch. The toasted walnuts add a wonderful crunch and texture but feel free to omit them from this recipe if you wish.

Ingredients

  • 175g (1 ¼ cups) plain flour
  • 1 tsp sodium bicarbonate (bicarbonate of soda or baking soda are other names for this raising agent)
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 200g (1 cup) caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, beaten
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 113g (¼ lb) softened unsalted butter, plus more for preparing the pan
  • 3 or 4 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork
  • 60g approx. (½ cup) toasted walnut pieces or pecans

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (Fan oven), 350F, Gas Mark 4
  2. Grease a 2lb loaf tin with butter
  3. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl; set aside.
  4. In a food mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or with an electric hand-held mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  5. Beat the eggs in a measuring jug, add the vanilla extract and mix together.
  6. Gradually pour the egg and vanilla mixture into the butter and sugar while mixing until incorporated. Add the bananas (the mixture will appear to be curdled, so don’t worry), and remove the bowl from the mixer.
  7. Add in the flour mixture and stir until just incorporated. Fold in the nuts and transfer the mix to the prepared loaf pan.
  8. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the bread comes out clean. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  9. Turn the bread out of the pan and let cool completely on the rack. Wrap in clingfilm. The banana bread is best if served the next day.
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Slices of banana bread

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There are 2 comments

  1. Nicola

    Looks delicious, we’re big fans of banana bread in our home. I actually buy the banana from the reduced shelf in the supermarkets for banana bread or to go in the freezer for smoothies etc. Completely agree re the electronic scales, makes baking a far more accurate task 🙂

    1. Cathal

      Thanks Nicola! Yes, I do the same with the bananas from the reduced shelf, there’s so much to offer there if it can be frozen and used at a more convenient time. Thanks for getting in touch and I’m delighted you like the recipe 🙂

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