Sunday, 20 April 2008

Banana bread - improved version

This was a much improved version from earlier attempts at banana bread (as seen here). I followed a different recipe and it worked much better. The bread rose and filled out the loaf tin more and the bread/cake is also more dense and bread-like. The crust is crisp and the insides are sweet and moist with the mashed bananas. It definitely got the seal of approval from AP and his colleagues! (He always bring extra banana bread or other baked items into work.)

The flavour of bananas develop and intensify as they ripen so the best bananas to use for baking are overripe ones, especially those that are turning brown or thoroughly specked and no longer ideal for eating. So don't throw those old bananas out! Turn them into mouthwatering banana bread.

This has been submitted to Not Quite Nigella's Banana Bread bakeoff event. The deadline is 12th of May so there's plenty of time to make your own and join the event.

Improved banana bread 3

(Recipe based on Joy of Baking)

Ingredients (makes about 10 thick slices):

250g/ 2 cups plain flour
150g/ 3/4 cups caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
115g/ 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 large or 4 medium very ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp vanilla extract
100g chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
Extra slices of bananas to garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C/gas mark 4. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 inch loaf tin, or line with grease proof paper.
2. In a large bowl combine the dry ingredients - flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. In another bowl, combine the wet ingredients - mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
3. Using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients bit by bit, just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. **IMPORTANT: Do not overmix the batter** There should still be traces of flour. Over mixing will result in tough bread.
4. Pour the batter into the loaf tin. Decorate the top with slices of bananas if desired. Bake in the middle of the oven for 60 minutes, until the bread is golden brown and a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. If the top is browning too quickly while the middle is still undercooked, place a sheet of foil across the top of the loaf and continue baking for another 5-10 minutes.
5. Place the tin on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the loaf tin. Serve warm or at room temperature. The bread is easier to slice when it has cooled down.


VeggieGirl said...

There's nothing better than a dense, flavor-packed loaf of banana bread - yum!! Glad that this version was a winner for you!!

Kevin said...

Nice looking banana bread! Banana bread is one of my favorites and I have been making it a lot lately.

tigerfish said...

Very dense banana bread - it looks like carrot cake from this picture, just that it's of pale brown. Give me some coffee and I'll be enjoying myself :)

didally said...

These bread looks so delicious. I think I should try baking them someday, instead of my usual banana cake.

Nilmandra said...

Thanks for the comments, folks. I'm really happy that this recipe turned out much better than my last one. Definitely a keeper.

diva said...

the older the banana, the richer the taste and more moist it gets. love it! your banana bread looks amazing

noble pig said...

Oh how lovely and warming this looks! Just divine.

Brilynn said...

I love banana bread, I just made some tonight!

Celine Asril of Black.Salt said...

omg another banana bread! is it BB season or what? I've found a few around the blogosphere already, and Not Quite Nigella's hosting an event with it. You should participate! I just made a batch and am waiting for more bananas to turn black to make another :)

Nilmandra said...

Diva: Exactly. I'm quite happy to have some leftover old bananas, because that's perfect for banana bread or muffins :)

Celine: Ah yes, I think I've bookmarked that blog event announcement somewhere. Thanks for reminding me!

Noble Pig and Brilynn: Thanks!

Celine said...

hurry up and ripen, pretty little bananas on top of fridge, so that I can ease the just-popped-up-after-seeing-this-post craving I have!

Nilmandra said...

Celine: LOL. I know that making use of leftover bananas is the great thing about making banana bread, but I too often feel like baking when I have fresh or even non bananas at home!

Elsye said...

wow wow...your banana bread really pretty...I'm drolling over my computer..:P..

Yours is better than mine...indeed..! the texture and color...

I would like to try later...:D, thanks for the recipe

Zoe said...

i've finally done my own! after a year of waiting! thanks for the recipe!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness, i put this banana bread in the oven 10mins ago and it smells wonderful! its rising beautifully too! Thankyou so much! Can't wait to try it!

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