I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks so first and foremost big apologies, but I have a good excuse…my Dad who I hadn’t seen for 3 years is over visiting from the UK! My love of food comes from him so it goes without saying over the past two weeks many nostalgic dishes have been cooked and shared. Feeling like it was time to work off a few of the calories consumed, yesterday morning we all headed out early to do a loop of the Goldie Bush Scenic Reserve. It is an awesome walk which Oscar (my nearly 4 year old) loves. There are several waterfalls, river crossings and because it has been wet, so much mud we were virtually swimming in it.
The loop takes around 3 hours (longer when if you have a little one that adores mud!) so a break for a bit of morning tea somewhere along the way is always welcomed. A thermos of hot tea accompanied by the sweetest and juiciest tangelo I have ever tasted and a generous slice of banana bread boosted our energies for the remainder of the trip.
This banana bread has been a regular in our house for several years, it is so moist and is really easy to make. I like the addition of walnuts for a bit of crunch and to give you a little break from the sweet banana. It is also great way to use up overripe bananas. The recipe makes two loaves – as with most of my baking I like to do double batches to make the most of the oven being on, but you can halve it quite easily.
Start by greasing a couple of loaf tins and lining the bottoms, then preheat the oven to 170’C. Now I have kids I find baking goes so much more smoothly when I get all of the ingredients out before I start, that way if I have to drop everything not only do I know exactly where I am up to but I don’t end up with half a batter sitting on the bench.
Mash the bananas and sugar together until it resembles lumpy porridge.
In a separate bowl beat the wet ingredients together, then pour them into the banana and sugar and mix them together to combine.
Tip the flour and baking powder into the mix and stir gently to combine. Don’t over mix or the loaf may become tough and chewy instead of light and melt-in-your-mouth. Once the flour has been incorporated carefully fold in the walnuts.
Divide the mixture between the two greased and partially lined loaf tins.
Sprinkle over a few crushed walnuts for decoration, unless you want to put icing on the loaves.
Pop them in the oven and bake for 50 minutes to an hour. They are ready when the tops are a deep golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. If you find that they are browning too quickly simply cover the loaves with a little tin foil, this will allow them to cook through whilst slowing the browning process.
When they are finished leave them to cool in the tin for 10 minutes or so before popping them out onto a cooling rack.
Serve warm or cold. It will keep for several days in an airtight container or you can freeze it. I like to keep one out and the other I slice up, I then wrap each slice individually. Freeze these and when you need them they are ready to go into lunch boxes or toasted with a little butter for morning tea.
Banana and walnut loaf
makes 2 loaves
prep time: 15 mins, bake time: 50 mins
serves per loaf: 10, cost per loaf: $5.30 ($0.53 per serve)
- 8 overripe bananas
- 200g/1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 125ml/1/2 cup milk
- 90ml/1/3 cup rice bran oil or other neutral oil
- 390g/3 cups self raising flour
- 1tsp baking powder
- 125g/1 cup walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 170’C and grease two loaf tins, lining the bottoms as well.
- Mash the bananas with the sugar using a fork or potato masher.
- With a fork, beat together the eggs, milk and oil.
- Add the wet ingredients to the banana mixture.
- Gently fold in the flour and baking powder until just combined, try not to over mix.
- Once the flour is incorporated add in the walnuts reserving a couple of tablespoons for decorating.
- Divide the batter between the two loaf tins then sprinkle with the remaining walnuts.
- Bake in the centre of the oven for 50 minutes or until the loaves are golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool for 10 mins in the tin before turning out onto a cooling rack.
The loaves will keep in an airtight container for up to a week or freezes well.
Note: If you want to ice the banana bread cream cheese icing marries really well with it or if you want something with a little zing try mixing the juice and zest of a lemon with enough icing sugar to form a loose paste that can be drizzled over the loaf.