Monday, 17 October 2011

Banana Walnut Bread

Adapted from:
"Banana Bread" from BBC.

Original Ingredients: (Makes a 20cm x 12.5cm loaf)
  • 285g/10oz plain flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 110g/4oz butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 225g/8oz caster sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 85ml/3fl oz buttermilk (or normal milk mixed with 1½ tsp lemon juice or vinegar)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Original Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
  2. Sift the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs, mashed bananas, buttermilk and vanilla extract to the butter and sugar mixture and mix well. Fold in the flour mixture.
  5. Grease a 20cm x 12.5cm/8in x 5in loaf tin and pour the cake mixture into the tin.
  6. Transfer to the oven and bake for about an hour, or until well-risen and golden-brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before serving.

My Ingredients & Method:
  • Basically followed the recipe word for word except the following modifications:
  • I used 3 ripe bananas instead of 4 (as I misread the recipes, doh!)
  • I used a 20cm (8-inch) round cake tin as my loaf tin is smaller than the suggested size.
  • I reduced the baking time to 40 minutes.
  • I added 30grams of walnut.

One-line Verdict:
An easy cake perfect for breakfast or teatime with coffee or tea.

    • I misread the recipe and accidentally reduced the banana portion by a quarter. The resulting cake had a weaker banana flavour than most store-bought cakes. Oh yes, banana bread is technically a cake. The "bread" title has more to do with the loaf-shape then the texture.
    • Tin sizes or shapes definitely affect baking time. This must be taken into account when substituting tins. A rule of thumb is to reduce the baking time by about 1/4 when using a shallower pan (in another word, a wider tin with larger surface on the top) than the one in the recipe. For a recipe with an original baking time of 60 minutes, start checking 40 minutes after start.
    • Walnuts or any nuts should be toasted at 200C for 6-8 minutes before chopping and mixing with the batter. I didn't realize that from other online resources until I finished my bake!

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