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Musings. Family. Food. Stories. Cooking. Recipes. Eating. A recipe journal. From simple Filipino dishes to challenging recipes and exciting gastronomical failures. This is for my girls to look back on for comfort, memories, laughs, love and lots of food!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Banana Breads Galore

I chanced up the NGN Banana Bread Bakeoff from the IMBB events calendar and thought... Why not?! Afterall, I do have that fruit in my blog name, and we had bananas in our fruit tray waiting to be cooked up. And so these banana breads are making their way to this bakeoff.

The first one I took from Eric Treuille and Ursula Ferrigno's Bread - Baking by Hand or Bread Machine, for the Jamaican Banana Bread version.

The Ingredients called for:

250g plain flour (plus more to dust tin)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
60g pecans, coarsely chopped (I used walnuts)
1 egg, beaten
175ml milk
150g granulated sugar
60g unsalted butter, melted
350g peeled and mashed bananas (approximately 3 ripe bananas)

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F/Gas 4). Grease a 1kg (1lb) loaf tin with oil. Generously dust with flour, then turn the tin to coat the bottom and sides evenly. Shake out any excess. ( I simply greased and lined the tin with baking paper)

2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together in a large bowl. Stir in the pecans (in my case, walnuts) and make a well in the centre. Put the remaining ingredients in a separate bowl and mix until thoroughly combined.

3. Pour the liquid mixture and the bananas into the flour well. Use a spatula to gently fold all the ingredients together to form a wet batter. (Over mixing can result in a heavy bread)

4. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour or until golden and well risen. The bread is ready when the edges shrink from the sides of the tin, and a metal skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

5. Keep the bread in the tine and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edges and turn out. Cool on a wire rack.

Although I substituted the pecans with walnuts (as that was what I had in the pantry), I don't think it affected the quality of the bread. This version is good as the loaf was moist and the combined nutmeg and cinnamon made it really tasty with a bit of spice.

The second version I took from A Cook's Book of Baking. Butter. Sugar. Flour .

This simple Banana Bread recipe called for the following ingredients:

250g (2 cups) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
150g unsalted butter, softened
185g (1 cup) soft brown sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
240g mashed ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)

1 Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F/Gas 4). Grease and line the base of a 23 x 13 x 16cm loaf tin

2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, mixed spice and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

3. Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl with electric beaters until light and fluffy. Add the eggs gradually, beating well after each addition, and beat until smooth. Mix in the banana. Gradually add the sifted dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

4. Pour into the loaf tin and bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack.

This was slightly different, calling for brown sugar and mixed spice. And the results were extremely different too, because it had a really crusty top and it was really sweet (I don't really have a sweet tooth, so sweet in this case is relative). It did turn out quite nice when served with a cup of coffee. The sweet and crusty bread complements the coffee immensely.

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