On Monday I was back from 2 weeks annual leave. Being in lockdown, I had been home all the time and now I was home to be working from home rather than holidaying from home. It feels like nothing changes. But being on holiday, while not finding much time to blog, I found time to make a fancy banana bread and to photograph it nicely. I also found time to eat it and it was very pleasing. Best spread with butter - or margarine which is actually what we have.
I baked banana bread for the same reason that I assume others in lockdown did. We bought too many bananas to convince ourselves we were eating healthily. Some were good in a smoothie or fruit salad or even the occasional banana sandwich. I love my banana sandwiches with a lick of butter and some sugar sprinkled on the banana slices which is not really eating that well but they are magnificent with fresh soft bread. But some bananas got abandoned along the way and begged to be banana bread.
I had my eye on the Three Blue Ducks Banana Bread for some time. It looked so beautiful with banana slices baked on the top with some cashews sprinkled on it. Mine didn't look quite like the Three Blue Ducks loaf. I had so many sesame seeds that I stirred some in and sprinkled heaps on top. You couldn't even see the banana slices but it still looked pretty once baked. If you don't have both black and white sesame seeds, you can just use one colour but using both looks so pretty. And I am a sucker for loaves with seeds.
The other tenet of lockdown is that you use what you have to hand. No popping out to the shops for a missing ingredient. We have to be careful to limit our travels around our 5km radius as well as trying to be frugal with the food we have. I didn't have any dried figs but I had prunes still in the pantry from our first lockdown. I am curious about what difference the pureed prunes made instead of pureed figs.
As I baked the bread I talked with my mum on the phone. I said I had a bad feeling about baking the bread at 160 C. This was partly my fault as I missed where it said fan forced. (Though I have a fan forced oven I find I need to have it at the non-fanforced temperature.) But I was not surprised when I checked it after 45 minutes that it was still very gooey inside. I cranked up the oven to 200 C and baked it for another 30 minutes. So next time I would bake it at a higher temperature.
I really loved this banana bread. It was soft and fragrant. Not quite the same as banana bread but a close cousin. I think I particularly loved the crunchy seedy crust. This was not one for Sylvia who does not like seeds and bits. So it took a while to eat through it. The banana loaf made a great treat spread with butter for morning tea or late at night. I still would like to make a bread that looks like the Three Blue Ducks but for now I am quite satisfied with this version.
More banana cakes and loaves on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Banana cake with maple syrup (v)
Banana and coconut cake (v)
Caramel banana cake
Healthy banana bread
Mum’s banana cake
Banana, prune and seed loaf
Adapted from Three Blue Ducks via The Age Good Food
200g plain flour
10g corn flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 pinch salt
170g sugar (I used raw)
90g prunes, pitted
3 medium to large bananas
40g unsalted butter, melted
45ml (3 tbsp) neutral oil
100g black and white sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 200 C. Generously butter or oil a loaf tin and then tip in about half the seeds and gently rotate the tin so the seeds cling to the bottom and up each side. Set aside any extra seeds that don't cling as well as remaining seeds.
Mix flours, cinnamon, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a large bowl and set aside. Blend eggs and sugar. (I did this with my hand held blender rather than electric beaters.) Place prunes and water in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Chop one banana and blend with the prunes and water. (I did this in with the hand held blender.) Chop a second banana and pulse into the mixture so there is some texture left. Add butter to melt in warm mixture. Then stir in the oil, chia seeds and all but a few tablespoons of the seed mixture. Gently stir in the flour mixture.
Carefully spoon the mixture into the loaf tin, trying not to dislodge the seeds coating the sides. Slice the third banana and arrange on top of the mixture. Sprinkle seeds over the bananas.
Bake for 45 to 60 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Sit for about 10-15 minutes and then turn out to a wire rack. Once cooled, store in an airtight container. My loaf was still good after 10 days. It is excellent spread with butter or margarine.
On the stereo:
Oz: Missy Higgins