Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Banana Bread

I was very fortunate the other day to be given a large bag of soft bananas – the vital ingredient to one of our favourite sweet treats – Banana Bread.

Bananas are a potassium super food and the goodness in them is maintained during the cooking process. Potassium stimulates your muscles, nerves and brain cells, and can also help reduce blood pressure and the risk of stroke.

Banana bread is great because it stays fresh and moist for a long time (if you can keep it away from the family for long enough), and it freezes perfectly for when you need something in a hurry. I have kept banana bread in the freezer for 4 months and found that it still tasted freshly-baked on thawing. I like to change ours up a bit; sometimes I add desiccated coconut, other times chocolate chips, different nuts or dried fruit.

You will notice that I use a little lemon juice in the recipe. The reason for this is that banana is not acidic and therefore there is little to react with the baking soda. To make sure there is no residual flavour of unused baking soda after the rising reaction has finished, we can add a little acid by way of lemon juice to help it along. There is nothing worse than biting into a delicious bit of home baking and having that bitter taste of baking soda on your tongue. If you don’t have any lemons, a little vinegar will do the same job. Don’t be alarmed when the acid from the lemon juice forms curds in your milk – this adds to the overall texture of the banana bread. Happy baking!

Kia makona, Mawera x
Ingredients
125g softened butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
2 cup wholemeal or spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground mixed spice
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup milk with 1 tsp lemon juice
2 bananas (ripe), mashed
1/4 cup walnuts or pecans, chopped
Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.Grease and line a 25cm loaf pan.Beat butter and sugars until pale and creamy.Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.Sift baking powder and mixed spice into flour. Dissolve baking soda in milk and lemon juice. Add to creamed butter mixture with bananas and walnuts. Mix together.Pour batter into prepared loaf pan, and bake for 1 hour or until a skewer comes out clean. Mixture can be doubled.

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