Bored of Banana Bread yet? I’m not surprised, it’s the most searched bread recipe online. However it’s a kitchen sin to let any bananas go to waste so the least I could do was change it up a bit and I’m glad I did as this might well be my favourite combination yet. I don’t want to say the ‘M’ word but it’s very M indeed.
But before we go onto the recipe seeing as Banana Bread as pretty much been a staple to our lockdown diets I thought it was about time we got to know it a little better.
A Brief History of Banana Bread
In the 1930’s there was two major events that caused the birth of the first Banana bread.
First, The Great Depression of 1929 which saw the American Stock Market collapse and brought the world economy into despair. Every scrap of food became precious and households vowed never to throw anything away; including rotting bananas.
And second, many baking powder manufacturers began mass producing their products making them widely available for everyone nationwide for the first time.
Cookbook writers very quickly became inspired and found a solution for their overripe bananas by paring them with the rising agents and making a ‘quick bread’. One of the first recipes found was from the 1930’s My New Better Homes and Garden Cookbook.
Throughout history the recipes have been tweaked and twisted such as my Nutella Banana Bread, but the fundamental ingredients remain; ripe banana, sugar, rising agent, butter and flour.
5 quick facts about Banana bread
- Most banana breads are quick breads and contain no yeast but do contain baking powder.
- Green tipped bananas are considered to be the best for cooking side dishes with. When they are yellow with brown flecks or riper they are great for using in breads, cookies, and shakes, but are generally too soft and sweet for cooking.
- When ten or more bananas grow on a single stem they are known as a hand. Individual bananas, it follows, are called fingers. Bananas are generally sold in clusters of four to six in the store
- Banana Breads are good for the heart (just go easy on the refined sugar. A great alternative is honey)
- National Banana Bread Day is now widely celebrated on February 23rd so pop the date in your diary!
Raspberry, Chocolate & Banana Bread
- 4 over ripe bananas
- 1 ripe banana – cut in half
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- 100 g butter melted
- 2 large eggs
- 175 g light brown sugar
- 250 g plain flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 100 g dark chocolate chips
- 100 g Fresh or Frozen Raspberries
Preheat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan) and grease and grease a loaf tin.
In one bowl mash together 4 over ripe bananas and melt the 100g butter in a pan. Mix the eggs and melted butter with the bananas then add the vanilla essence. Leave this wet mix to one side.
In a separate bowl mix the flour, light brown sugar and baking powder together then add the wet mix to it, stir until just combined to create your banana bread batter.
Add the chocolate chips and raspberries to a bowl and dust them with a little flour to coat. This steps helps stop them from sinking to the bottom.
Fold in the chocolate chips and raspberries and pour the batter into your prepared loaf tin. Peel and cut the ripe banana in two and rest both halves on top of the mixture.
Bake for 45 – 55 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
This bread can be enjoyed at room temperature or lightly toasted
It will keep for 3 days at room temperature or up to 7 in the fridge. If you want to make several loaves, these will freeze well for up to 6 months. I like to cut mine into slices first and wrap them in cling film, this way I can simply defrost them per slice by leaving overnight on the kitchen side or toasting it.