Sunday, July 13, 2008

Banana Bread

Banana Bread

From How To Be A Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson

This is the first recipe anyone hesitant about baking should try: it's fabulously easy and fills the kitchen with that aromatic fug which is the natural atmospheric setting for the domestic goddess.

There are countless recipes for banana bread: this one is adapted from one of my favourite books, the one I read lying on the sofa to recover from yet another long, modern, stressed-out day, Jim Fobel's Old-Fashioned Baking Book: Recipes from an American Childhood. If you're thinking about giving this cake to children, don't worry, the alcohol doesn't pervade: you just end up with stickily, aromatically swollen fruit.

Makes 8-10 slices.

3/4 cup golden raisins (sultanas)
6 tablespoons or 3 ounces bourbon or dark rum
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup superfine sugar
2 large eggs
4 small, very ripe bananas, mashed
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

9 x 5 inch loaf tin, buttered and floured or with a paper insert

Put the golden raisins and rum or bourbon in a smallish saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for an hour if you can, or until the raisins have absorbed most of the liquid, then drain.

Preheat the oven to 325ºF and get started on the rest. Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl and, using your hands or a wooden spoon, combine well. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until blended.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas. Then, with your wooden spoon, stir in the walnuts, drained raisins and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit.

Scrape into the loaf tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 to 1 and a quarter hours. When it's ready, an inserted toothpick or fine skewer should come out cleanish. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool, and eat thickly or thinly sliced, as you prefer.

Personal Note: My favorite banana bread recipe. Makes the house smell better than sex and comes out gorgeous.

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