As the chill takes hold and we’re all starting to go into hibernation mode, I thought this would be a good time to make something comfy and warm to snuggle up with on the sofa – lovely, lovely banana bread.
There are many recipes floating around for banana bread, and I’ve tried a lot of permutations, but this is by far the best. Because bananas are naturally sweet, there are some recipes without sugar – they are ok but not amazing. I say, in for a penny, in for a pound; get some sugar in there and make it not just ok, but damn good! As well as enhancing the bananas’ sweetness, the brown sugar gives the freshly baked loaf a light, almost crunchy crust. Slice carefully through the warm loaf and you get the moist, sweet bread that’s ready to eat.
Yes, I do add seeds to a lot of my recipes, but I reckon if you can get away with it, do it. They add goodness and protein and give you licence to eat cake with impunity…
Recipe for four-seed banana bread
200g self raising flour
50g wholemeal self raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
150g soft light brown sugar
1 tbsp linseeds
1 tbsp poppy seeds
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 tbsp sunflower seeds
1 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
4 bananas, mashed (fresh or frozen)
Get a large bowl and add the sifted flours, baking powder and salt, then mix in the butter and sugar, either rub it in with your fingertips, or – much easier – mix it all up in the food mixer. Whisk up the eggs, bananas and vanilla with a food mixer or by hand, and carefully fold into the flour mixture, finally adding the raisins and seeds.
Pour the mixture into a large silicone loaf tin, or a greased and lined metal tin, and cook at 175°C for 1 hour. Do the skewer test after and hour; it should be golden on top when it’s ready and a little moist inside, but if the skewer’s too sticky, turn the oven down to 170°C and give it five more minutes.
Tip: I usually make a large loaf and a little one too, in a small loaf tin. This is a really good gift for someone, or an alternative to the bog standard wine if you’re invited round for dinner etc.
© Katheryn Rice 2009