Baking Banana Bread

Last time we used up ripe bananas to make fresh fruit smoothies , now if you’ve got any more bananas left that need using up, here is a delicious recipe for banana bread, which is more of a cake than a bread. It is moist and full of flavor and keeps well for several days, if there is any left by then!

Have you ever baked a cake from scratch before by hand? If you haven’t I’ll explain some of the terms you’ll see in the recipe, right after it. It’s not hard and once you’ve learned how, you can tackle almost any cake recipe there is!

Recipe for Banana Bread

2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter (nice and soft)
1 cup sugar
4 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350F

Collect together these kitchen tools: mixing bowl, wooden spoon, loaf tin 8″ x 4″, sieve, measuring cups and spoons

Grease the loaf tin and line it with baking paper or a butter paper.

Cream together the butter and sugar till it is light and fluffy. Mash the bananas with a fork then beat them into the butter mixture. Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then beat them into the mixture a little at a time. Sift the flour and salt together then fold it into the mixture. Dissolve the baking soda in the water and stir it in. Last of all mix in the baking powder.

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf tin and bake for about 45 minutes. Test to see if it is done by poking a metal or wooden skewer into the middle of the loaf – if it comes out clean it is done. If some of the mixture sticks to it, it needs a little longer. Check again after 5 minutes. Cool the banana bread in the tin then turn out and slice.

TIPS

To help you remember when the cake needs to come out, set the alarm or timer function on your cellphone or watch!

Remember to have thick oven gloves on when you are taking the hot tin out of the oven!

Cream together butter and sugar Most cake recipes start with this step. All this means is mixing the sugar into the butter. It is much easier to do if the butter is soft (but not melting) to start with. With a wooden spoon press the sugar into the butter until it is all mixed in and then mix faster until it looks a bit fluffy like whipped up frosting. This stage gets the air into the cake that helps it be light and moist rather than rock solid!

Beat eggs Break the eggs into a separate bowl and stir them up together with a fork until they are well mixed. When you add them to the cake mixture, just add a little bit at a time and stir in well with the wooden spoon before adding the next bit.

Beating means mixing the batter fast, round and round as quickly as you can to get the air in. It can tire you out – good for building muscles!

Fold in flour You’ve got lots of air into the mix by beating the eggs and beating the mixture together. Now when you add the flour you do it more slowly so as not to lose all the air. Scoop the mixture from the bottom of the bowl and fold it over the flour on top in gentle movements until it is all mixed in.

So now any time you find a cake recipe that is made by hand you will be able to use these methods and you don’t need to rely on a food processor or mixer any more. Hand-made cakes rise much better than ones made in the processor too, so are lighter and airier.

Have fun baking cakes!


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