There’s been a lot of baking going on here recently. Usually, by this time of the year I’m all about the salads, the lighter, brighter, zestier side of cooking. Asparagus season has started, there’s a few punnets of strawberries about, things are beginning to look, well, summery. Everything except the weather that is. I’m going to embrace my inner Englishman and just have a little whinge about the state of our so called spring; it’s been miserable, two whole days of sunshine and now it’s shiveringly cold again. When it’s a freezing cold May evening there are few options – put the heating on, put another jumper on (‘that child’, as my mum was wont to say), or do some baking. It may not be a traditional method of keeping warm but I find it helps cosy up a cold kitchen and frankly, any excuse...
Banana bread is a classic and there are so many variations: some add raisins or use oatbran or a spoonful of mixed spice, a handful of walnuts, even chunks of dark chocolate. I’ve discovered over the years that I like my banana bread plain and simple; I want it smooth, slightly sweet and moist. I like to eat it warm from the oven with a cup of tea and a few days later I like it for breakfast, toasted, with a scraping of dairy – free margarine. This particular loaf is made using honey, an addition that I think really compliments the bananas and adds a not-too-sweet sweetness, if that’s possible. I’ve also used rapeseed oil and ground flaxseeds in lieu of dairy and eggs, both of which a good omega boost and a nutty, malty note respectively. It’s so incredibly simple to make and just right for this time of year, so go on, I urge you, keep warm with this and I promise a savoury recipe next time!
Please note, I’ve put all of the weights, including the liquids, into grams, just for ease of cooking. I recommending weighing it all out together on the scales and then tipping the ingredients into the food processor.
HONEY BANANA BREAD
You will need a 2lb loaf tin for this recipe
80g rapeseed oil, but you could use sunflower or coconut if you wish
3 very ripe bananas
225g Doves Farm gluten free self-raising flour
A pinch of cinnamon
4 tbsp of ground flaxseed mixed together with 6tbsp of water
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda mixed together with 1tbsp hot water
Preheat the oven to 200c and lightly grease and line the loaf tin.
Combine the ground flaxseed and the water and set aside to thicken. Place the bananas, flour, honey, cinnamon, oil and ground flaxseed mixture into a food processor. Add the hot water to the bicarbonate of soda (it will foam slightly) and immediately pour over the other ingredients.
Pulse the mixture in the food processor until smooth and glossy and then spoon into the lined loaf tin and level the top. Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes until golden and cooked through – if you think the loaf is browning too much (the honey can do this) just cover with a layer of tin foil and continue to bake.Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.