Last week I decided that needed to tackle my baking nemesis that is banana bread. It’s a fairly simple, ubiquitous recipe that should have been no problem at all. However for many years this baking skill has alluded me. The problem? I could never get the bread to cook through, I have always ended up with a soggy mess. So for a long time it has been something that I have ignored whenever ripe old bananas were looking at me imploringly from the fruit bowl. Lockdown has meant that I have more time, in some ways, to experiment in the kitchen. I found a banana and chocolate loaf recipe from the Primrose Bakery recipe book . It seemed perfect but I was still gripped with this age old internal fear that it would be a culinary disaster. I think I must have mixed my fears into the mixture, because the result was the soggy mess that I predicted. I followed the instructions but when I cut into the bread, a dribble of uncooked banana and dough came out. I smooshed the bread back together, placed foil over the top and let it cook for another 60 minutes. The final resultant bread was perfect. It was delicious, the sweetness of the banana and dark chocolate balancing each other out perfectly. However I think I was not happy that it had taken so long and I wondered if it was due to my baking technique.
I wrote a little post on Instagram and Facebook and somebody from the Church that I used to attend, offered to share her banana bread recipe with me. I did not hesitate to say yes, because even though it was over a decade ago, I still remember sitting in her home eating the most delicious banana bread I have ever tasted in my life. I got the recipe at the end of last week and made banana bread number 2.
4 ripe bananas
200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
50g softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1.Preheat oven 180oC
2. Mix all dry ingredients together
3. Mix all wet ingredients together
4. Mash bananas
5. Mix wet and dry ingredients together and add banana.
6. Sprinkle brown sugar on the top before placing in the oven.
7. Use a well greased bread pan.
8. Bake 30 – 40 minutes
9. Leave to cool in the pan before removing in order to firm up.
What can I say. This was delicious. It came out perfect. It was soft, moist and sweet. The texture was just right.
I have been trying to think about the difference between the two recipes to explain the difference in outcomes. The only significant thing that I can think of is that the first one has more butter and eggs so more wet ingredients. I don’t know if the shape of the tin makes a difference, I used a wide cake tin, maybe a better distribution of heat for the mixture. I’m not sure. I guess the test would be making both breads again but swapping containers and seeing what happens. For the moment it will have to wait but not for long, half the bread/cake has already been eaten.
If any of you baking wizards could shed some light on this, I’d love to hear from you. In the mean time I’ll be sticking to version number 2.
Until the next post, stay safe peeps! 🙂 x