When I began my experiments in banana bread to help Alistair find the perfect recipe for Australian-style banana bread with polenta on top, @curlywurlyfi tweeted me to say she has a recipe that’s all kinds of excellent (or words to that effect) and would I like it? Of course I’d like it. I’m no lone wolf and when the hand of help is extended I grab it firmly and I hold on. Sometimes I refuse to let go.

I’ve made Fi’s banana bread 3 times since then and twice it’s been hoovered up before you can say: “I just need to save 1 slice for a photo.” I got wise on the third go and baked it in secret. I managed a surreptitious snap and 3 slices for breakfast. When I got home there was barely a centimetre of it left. Moreish is an understatement.

Fi's banana bread really is great

Fi’s banana bread
Makes approximately 8–10 slices

60g soft butter plus extra for greasing
2-3 very ripe black spotted bananas – must be at the stinking out your kitchen stage (I used 3 bananas, weighing 295g unpeeled)
60g soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 medium egg
Pinch of salt
Grating of nutmeg
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
150g self raising flour – you can use wholemeal or white depending on how virtuous you feel (I used white. It felt virtuous to me)
Optional: poppyseeds, chopped nuts, chocolate chips, slug of rum, grated lemon, desiccated coconut (I chucked in 75g chopped walnuts)

Grease 1 small (16cm x 101/2cm) loaf tin (my tin was a tiny bit longer and wider) and preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/fan oven 160°C.

In a food processor blurge the peeled bananas, butter, sugar and vanilla until no lumps of banana are left. (I don’t have a food processor, so I beat them with an electric beater. Worked fine.)

Blurge in the egg; it will curdle, do not worry. Add all dry ingredients (except any exciting nut or chocolate additions if using; those are best stirred in at end) and blurge briefly to combine.

Stir in exciting additions, if using. Pour and scrape into the loaf tin, bang once on counter to get rid of any air bubbles (plus, it’s quite satisfying), then bake for 30–40 minutes depending on the heat of your oven and how goldy you like it, etc (it took 40 minutes in my oven). The banana bread is ready when a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Watch it at the end as sugary bananas mean it can go very dark on top.

Nice warm, good cold, best of all toasted and spread with butter.

Tagged with: BakingBanana breadCakes

17 Responses to Experiments in banana bread: Fi’s banana bread

  1. shayma says:

    that looks so, so gorgeous. i love banana bread in all its forms. x shayma

  2. Bethea says:

    That looks great! It’s hard to go wrong with any banana bread variation.

  3. Bellerina says:

    I have a banana bread recipe I can show you… :-o)

  4. curlywurlyfi says:

    I blush. And give credit to Mama Curly, of course, though I have radicalized her recipe to a point she wouldn’t recognize it. Hers, though, is the comment about the bananas really needing to be black-spotted or it’s not worth making this.

  5. The Grubworm says:

    I haven’t had banana bread for ages, it’s something my mum always made when I was younger, but i have never got around to it. Which is a shame because it always brings a nostalgic warmth with it. Maybe this is a suitable nudge to get me started again.

  6. thelittleloaf says:

    How weird, Iv got a draft post ready to go live this evening for a banana loaf I made last night-must be the perfect post Easter treat. Yours looks absolutely delicious & thanks for the food processor tip-Iv been doing it all by hand but blending is a much better idea!

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      Clearly the season for banana bread. But all credit must go to Fi. I’m simply the teller of her banana bread story.

  7. Anke says:

    I don’t know what it is with you British.
    You seem to Love Banana Bread.
    To me, it is a weird cross over between bread and cake, i.e. it is a wannabe cake, or a not-quite-cake.
    And what good is that?!

    • ginandcrumpets says:

      It’s a cake you can butter – what’s not to love about that? And Australians are mad about them too (see below).

  8. Pretty sure I have commentated on your banana bread posts before and I have to say as an Australian I am totally OBSESSED!

  9. alastair says:

    I have a kitchen smelling sweetly of banana bread. It is another triumph (I liked all the other banana bread recipes too though). Love the addition of the nuts. I may have added in too many bananas, as it’s a bit soggy at the base, but a bit of toast and butter, and it’s amazing.

    now just need to work out how to toast it on the beach tomorrow after a swim….

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