I love banana bread but sadly don’t get to eat it to often as my daughter has some sort of strange aversion to it. Like many kids she likes her fruit and veg just so, banana are whole. You peel them, cut them and put them in your cereal. Not in cakes, muffins or bread. Bloody shame. My wife isn’t too enamoured with banana bread either. Which leaves me with a while cake to consume before it goes stale. Yes, I could always freeze it. I could even slice it and freeze in portions. But life is too short and so I focus in on cakes that everyone will eat. Together.
However today I wanted to share this wonderful wholemeal take on a banana bread from the wonderful Dan Lepard. Its heavier and more substantial than its lighter, sweeter cousins, more of a loaf than a cake, but nevertheless is a very welcome companion to a mid morning coffee or afternoon tea. So if you have any wholemeal flour in the press and a few very ripe bananas hanging about hour kitchen then give this a try. You’ll be surprised at the result.
300g ripe bananas
15ml lemon juice
125g shelled walnuts, chopped
75g unsalted butter
175g dark soft brown sugar
50ml walnut oil (I used a neutral sunflower oil)
1 tsp mixed spice
3 medium eggs
325g wholemeal bread flour
1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
Demerara or natural sugar crystals
Line the base and sides of a large, deep, 19cm long loaf tin with nonstick paper, and heat the oven to 180C (160C fan-assisted)/350F/gas mark 4. Peel the bananas and in a medium bowl mash them and the lemon juice with a fork until smooth. Stir in the walnuts and leave to one side.
In a saucepan gently melt the butter, tip it into a mixing bowl with the sugar, oil and spice. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition, until everything is evenly combined.
Sift the wholemeal flour and soda into a bowl (pick out any bran caught in the sieve and add to the flour in the bowl). Beat half the sifted flour into the egg mixture, fold in the banana and walnut mixture, then fold in the remaining flour gently.
Spoon the mix into the lined tin and smooth the top. Sprinkle some demerara sugar over the top and bake for about 60 – 70 minutes, or until a skewer poked in comes out barely clean.
Allow to cool and devour.