Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Ba Na Na


'Vegetables are a must on a diet.  I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.'  
- Jim Davis
Hmm… maybe not zucchini bread just yet, but I am a sucker for anything banana. Fritters, milkshakes, mashed with sugar or baked into cake. I love banana bread. Toast it and slather it with butter and you have me hooked!

I tried making banana bread in the bread machine and the result was a loaf of bread that smelt like banana and was slightly sweet. There was no overwhelming banana-y taste when I bit into it. Acceptably, but a bit disappointing after a few bites.

I accidentally found the perfect recipe on Nigella Lawson’s website. I love her – almost everything I make off her site tastes exactly the way it should and LOOKS like the pictures she puts up! This is a modification of her recipe – I’ve cut out the alcohol and the other fruit and concentrated on just banana. Resultant bread is YUM.

Banana Bread 

(Adapted from Nigella - my comments in italics)

Attempt 1 - nummy
What you will need

175 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
½ teaspoon salt
125 grams butter, melted (most recipes call for unsalted butter, but here in India that is extremely hard to come by. I use regular Amul, and no one complains)
150 grams sugar (I like using brown sugar, the loaf goes darker and tastes better)
2 large eggs (make sure the eggs are room temperature)
4 very ripe bananas mashed (I try stopping at 300g which is the suggested quantity, but I never can. My philosophy here is the more the merrier – I’ve gone up to 6 medium sized bananas once!)
60 grams chopped walnuts (rather than just chop them up, put them into a mortar and smash them up till they’re fine. They add a fantastic taste and texture to the bread. You don't have to add them in though)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 1
Butter and flour a loaf tin (standard size) and set it aside. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.

Step 2
Mix the flour, baking powder and soda bicarb together. (You can also use the same quantity of self-raising flour – 175 grams- and skip the baking powder and soda.)

Step 3
Mix the butter and sugar together and beat until they are blended.

Step 4
Add the eggs in one at a time, followed by the bananas.

Step 5
Add vanilla extract. (If you are using walnuts, stir them in now)

Step 6
Add flour a third at a time and stir properly. (You can either use a wooden spoon to make the mixture or use a hand/ stand mixer to combine the ingredients. I see no difference in using either method.)

Step 7
Scrape mixture into a loaf tin and make sure the batter is evenly spread. Place it in the middle of the oven. It will take anywhere between 1 hour to an hour and a quarter to bake. (If your oven temperature fluctuates, start checking the bread at 50 minutes. You will know it's done when you insert a toothpick or knife into the bread and it comes out almost clean.)

Step 8
Turn out onto a wire rack to cool after 10 minutes. Eat warm or cold.

I love cutting thick slices of this bread and eating it hot. And cold. And anything. 

oh happy days