The thing I love most about baking is the almost alchemical process that goes on inside the oven: the fact that what comes out bears absolutely no resemblance to what went in. It’s like creating magic in the kitchen.
Banana bread has to be the ultimate example of this, transforming by far the most unpromising of ingredients – extremely ripe bananas – into something delicious.
I like banana bread to be plain and simple (no added raisins or nuts) with a rich, buttery taste and a springy texture. This recipe works a treat and is incredibly easy.
3-4 ripe bananas (the riper the better) mashed. Aim for about 300g in weight without skins
175g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Half teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
Half teaspoon of ground cinnamon
Half teaspoon of salt
125g melted unsalted butter
150g golden caster sugar
2 medium eggs
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C / gas mark 3. Line a two-pound loaf tin with baking parchment.
Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl.
In a separate large bowl beat together the melted butter and sugar with a medium-sized balloon whisk until the mixture goes pale.
Beat the eggs in a small jug and pour them into the butter and sugar mixture a little at a time, continuing to mix gently with the whisk as you pour. Then gently stir in the mashed bananas.
Add the dry ingredients to the mixture, a third at a time, using a metal spoon to fold in the flour without overworking it.
Quickly transfer the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and place in the middle of the oven for about 75 mins. It will go quite dark brown on the top, but if it looks as though it is starting to burn just place a piece of baking parchment over the top for the final minutes of baking.
You can test the loaf’s readiness by inserting a bamboo skewer or sharp knife, which should come out clean. Leave to cool on a rack in the tin.