Monday, 28 June 2010

Experimental Banana Bread

The two ripe bananas sitting on my kitchen counter last week were starting to piss me off*, and I knew I had to do something about them before they rotted away. And the tastiest thing to make with over-ripe bananas? Banana bread, of course. Since I'd just spent all week on the computer, I wasn't really in the mood to go search for a new recipe to try out.

So, I made up a recipe instead. Although it says banana 'bread',the method is actually partly bread, partly cake-ish. I used yeast, and mixed it with plain flour instead of bread flour, just because I wanted to find out how that would turn out. Also, just like bread, I left it to rise for quite a while, although there isn't any kneading involved because the batter turns out very wet. The yeast feeds on the sugars in the bananas, and rises to form a bread with a chewy texture. This recipe uses hardly any butter, and no eggs, so it might be worth trying if you're worried about your waistline but still want to indulge in some sweets (please note the 'healthy' factor completely flies out the window if you're smothering it in Nutella). 

Banana Bread 
1 tbsp dry yeast
150 ml tepid water/ milk (I used a mixture of both)
2 tsp sugar

250 gm plain flour
50 ml water/milk
50 gm butter
100 gm brown sugar
2 ripe bananas, roughly mashed 
ground cinnamon (to taste)
ground nutmeg (to taste)
25 gm walnuts (optional)
1/2 tsp pandan essence/ vanilla extract (optional)

- In a large bowl, dissolve 2 tsp sugar in tepid water/milk, add dry yeast and stir it around lightly. Cover with a cloth and leave it to rise for about 15 minutes.

- When yeast is activated, whisk in brown sugar, then add the flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the rest of the milk and the pandan essence to the mixture, and stir in the walnuts. 

- Add butter, and finally, the mashed bananas, and, using a wooden spoon or spatula, stir the mixture for about 5 minutes. This is to ensure the bananas get incorporated into the mixture and aren't just left on the sides.

- Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and let the batter rise for about 2 hours. Lightly grease a 7-inch baking tray (you can use other sizes too, just remember to adjust the baking times) and pour the batter into it. Then, cover again with a damp cloth and let it raise for another hour.

- Preheat the oven to 175c, then bake your bread for about 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted inside comes out clean.

- Let it cool down, slice and enjoy! You can keep it for 3 or 4 days, and it's great toasted, since you get to enjoy crunchy outsides and soft, chewy innards.

Happy baking!

*I love eating bananas, but only when they're still slightly raw. The insides of my mouth feel gross and slimy and furry when I eat ripe/over-ripe 'nanas. Euuuech!

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