Banana Bread

For the past few months I have been getting my weekly supply of fruit and vegies from the CERES Fair Food service (previously known as CERES Food Connect).

CERES Food Connect is an organic food delivery service, where you purchase direct from the farmer. All of the fruit and vegetables are sourced locally and the contents of the produce box changes each week, depending on what is available. Each week, in Master Chef Style, a ‘mystery box’ of ingredients is delivered to your City Cousin pick-up point. If you want to know more check out this link.

Despite only living in a 2 person household, The Brooding Architect and I get the mixed medium fruit and vegetable box. The CERES website indicates that this particular box is suitable for a family of 3 – 4 people. I blame my Singaporean-Chinese mother, for my compulsion to hoard food and over feed people. This is what a typical week’s stash looks like:

Despite our best efforts, The Brooding Architect and I always seem to have a glut of fruit left in the fruit bowl at the end of the week. Lately, the key culprit has been bananas.

An easy way to use up an over-supply of bananas is baking banana bread. For unorganised people like me, who never seems to have time for breakfast in the morning despite starting work at the very civilised time of 9am, banana bread is one of those things you can easily snack on while checking the daily inundation of emails. It also freezes really well when (1) you just can’t face breakfast of banana bread; or (2) your friends refuse to accept any more ‘gifts’ of banana bread.

Perfect with a cup of spicy chai tea

This is my tried and tested recipe for banana bread – modified from the recipe in David Herbert’s Complete Perfect Recipes . I love David’s recipes because they are so  easy to master. Then, once you have mastered the base recipe, it is easy to modify it to suit your own personal tastes. This recipe can be mixed together with a hand mixer, or if you are ‘time poor’ (read lazy) like me thrown into a food processor all at once.

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups plain flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 125g unsalted butter – softened to room temperature (if I am organised I love using the Warrnambool Butter from the ‘Curds & Whey’ Stall at the Queen Victoria Markets)
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 very large (or 3 small) very ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup natural or Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
  • Handful of chopped walnuts (optional)

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grease your loaf tin and line the sides with baking paper.
  3. In a bowl sift together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate soda, salt and nutmeg.
  4. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the butter and sugar for around 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well after each addition.
  5. Mash up the bananas with a fork and add to the butter mixture, use the electric to combine.
  6. Add the sifted dry ingredients, alternatively with the yoghurt and milk, beating well after each addition.
  7. Add the chopped walnuts and mix thoroughly.
  8. Spoon the mix into your prepared loaf tin and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the top of the bread is firm and a deep brown colour. A skewer or fork inserted into the centre should come out clean. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.
  9. Serve with a mug of your favorite tea.  The finished product can also be wrapped in alfoil and frozen for up to two months.


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