A sign that you’re getting older is the sheer impossibility of organising a get together with your friends. Weekends suddenly become jam packed with familial duties and weeknights are usually spent in a crumpled heap on the sofa, half-consciously scrolling through a screen. My friend John and I had been planning an evening of baking for the last three months (taking the biscuit just a little #bestpunever) and we don’t even have children to blame it on! Luckily we finally got our act together and locked in Monday for our reunion which was to be spent in the kitchen making delicious banana bread. And man, oh man was it yummy. We managed to turn my little galley kitchen in to a pop-up boulangerie with flour whirling and the smell of cinnamon hanging in the air. I acted as sous chef which involved handing over ingredients when needed and giving things the odd stir (so professional). Watching John in action was such a treat because as a recent financial administrator-turned-baker-extraordinaire, he has such a passion for baking and clearly loves what he does. It’s such a brave move to change careers like he has and he’s now baking for the most popular restaurants in Belfast – a move that paid off!
So many crinkles, maybe it's time I bought an iron?
After tasting the bread I begged John to let me share the recipe. It is so moreish and although I had his help, it is definitely not difficult for a beginner baker. The hardest part is having the patience to wait for it to bake! He has also passed on a few insider tricks which makes it very easy to get right the first time. The smell alone is pure heaven - the combination of cinnamon and ginger filled our house for hours! As we tucked in to our slice, steam still emanating from the loaf, I realised that maybe the best get-togethers are worth the wait. Especially when they involve delicious food.
Yes he can bake and yes he is single ;)
I’ve included the recipe below for you to enjoy but if you have any questions or suggestions of your own please feel free to comment! Happy baking!
John’s Banana Bread Bonanza
- 250g plain flour
- 150g light brown sugar
- 150g dark brown sugar
- 4 x soft bananas (the browner the better before they get to complete mush!)
- 3 x medium eggs
- 50ml buttermilk
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 x 900g loaf tin
- 1 x stand mixer
- 1 x mixing bowl
- Baking sheets
- Preheat the oven to 200C
- Using the stand mixer, beat the eggs, sugar and vanilla together
- Add in soft bananas and beat for 40 seconds on a medium speed
- Take off the mixer and sieve in the flour, cinnamon, ginger, bicarbonate soda and salt. Gently fold in ingredients using a spatula.
- Add buttermilk and mix in with spatula until fully incorporated
- Grease the loaf tin with butter and line with a baking sheet
- Pour the mixture in to the tin
- Place in preheated oven for 5-10 mins and then turn the heat down to 170C and cook for another 25 minutes
- Test the mixture with a skewer and once it comes out clean the bread is done
- Enjoy with a big mug of tea!
It's a bouncing baby banana bread!