Time for Tea: Banana Bread

Eleanor is our baking aficionado, our cake making conquistador, our empress of sponge…okay, you get the picture, but I like to stick my hand in the cookie jar sometimes too (“and then maybe a second or third time as well…” – Eleanor)
So, when life hands you bananas, you make banana bread:

  • 285g/10oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 110g/4oz butter, plus a spare knob to grease the tin
  • 225g/8oz caster sugar (shocker – I used granulated sugar as I didn’t have caster sugar in the house! The result is the same…)
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 85ml/3fl oz buttermilk (or normal milk mixed with 1½ tsp lemon juice or  vinegar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

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Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

Pop the bananas into a bowl and mash them up, put them to one side. Next go and grab two more generously sized mixing bowls.

In one of the bowls sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt.

In the other, cream the butter and sugar together. Next, add the eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mix, along with the mashed bananas and then gently fold the flour mixture into this.

Grease a loaf tin or big square oven dish and pour in the banana mix.

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Bake this for an hour, or more if needed. You may need to prod it from time to time to check that it is cooked in the middle. It should be a dark brown colour when it is finally done. Once cooked through, remove it from the oven and allow it to stand in the tin or dish for a short time. Turn in out on to a wire rack and allow it to cool for some time before you cut it into the classic ‘banana loaf’ shape.

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Serve alongside an Earl Grey, or a good Lapsang tea to cut through the richness of the cake.

As Eleanor always says – Enjoy!

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