This banana bread was another great find from the BBC Good Food website. I was looking for a healthy-ish cake recipe and as far as baked goods go this isn't too bad for you. I've adapted it slightly from the original recipe by using more wholemeal than white flour, reducing the amount of sugar and adding sultanas.
It's a versatile recipe; pecans and sultanas work well but you could use anything really, although you might need to adjust the cooking time slightly. The second time I made this loaf I used large bananas and was generous with the dried fruit so the loaf needed an extra 20 minutes in the oven. I've made it with butter and margerine, both of which worked equally well. It keeps in a airtight container for at least four days and can be enjoyed with butter or jam, although it's perfectly nice on its own.
When making this banana bread (which is quite cake-like in texture), ensure that you have ripe bananas; you'll get a better flavour and the resulting loaf will be lighter in texture.
I've baked this using a silicone loaf mould and a metal loaf tin - I got much better results with the metal tin as it holds its shape - the loaf in the silicone mould did rise but it also bulged out at the sides and resulted in a flatter, more dense loaf.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line and grease a 450g loaf tin.
- Mix the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and eggs together in a large mixing bowl.
- Mash the bananas then stir into the mixture. I used an electric whisk to speed things up.
- Stir in the pecans, dried fruit or chocolate if using.
- Transfer the mixture to the loaf tin and bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes. If you've added additional ingredients such as dried fruit then the loaf will need an extra 15 - 25 minutes. At this point cover the loaf with tin foil so it doesn't burn on top. The complete cooking time is also dependent on the size of the bananas used. To check if the loaf is cooked all the way through insert a skewer into the centre. If it comes out clean then it's ready.
- Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes before turning onto a wire rack. Leave to cool completely then transfer to an airtight tin.