Lean into the banana bread trend: this is how 5 top Irish foodies like to make it
We’ve resisted, we’ve averted our eyes, we’ve baked everything else — but the allure of simple banana bread can no longer be ignored
When we look back at this extremely strange time in our lives, certain items will become synonymous with it all. Toilet paper. Homemade face masks. Yoga mats. And of course, homemade banana bread.
Now that everyone has extended time to themselves at home, we have turned to our unsuspecting oven and given it more work to do than it has had in a lifetime. We have all turned into domestic goddesses, hellbent on recreating every somewhat attractive recipe we’ve bookmarked for the past five years.
And the one creation that we all can’t get enough of? Banana bread. The reasoning behind why this humble confectionery has become so popular is unclear, but I imagine it’s because it’s a relatively easy recipe to ease yourself into your new role of house baker. Banana bread can be made with few ingredients, most of which you probably already have around the house, it goes with lots of spreads and additions, and can be eaten for breakfast as well as a snack after dinner. It’s versatile and tasty, which is why we are all loving it these days.
You may not be ready to embrace our new banana bread overlord, but if you are, you’d better learn from the best. Irish chefs and foodies who have given us some of our favourite cookbooks over the years have all embraced banana bread before it was so en vogue. If you want to recreate their recipes, here are five of our favourites.
Rachel Allen’s Banana, Ginger and Golden Syrup Loaf
- 110g butter
- 50g soft brown sugar
- 125g golden syrup
- 2 eggs
- 125g plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 medium bananas, mashed
- Preheat the oven to 180°C, 350°F, Gas 4. Line the base and sides of a loaf tin with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, cream the butter until it is soft, then beat in the brown sugar and the golden syrup, continuing to beat until the mixture is lovely and light.
- Now, one at a time, beat in the eggs. The mixture will look sloppy, but don’t worry.
- In a separate bowl, mix the flour, the baking powder and the ground ginger, and sift it into the butter, sugar, golden syrup and egg mixture. Lightly but thoroughly fold the mixtures together.
- Next, mix in the mashed bananas, to form a soft, wet dough. Pour the dough into the prepared loaf tin, and place it in the preheated oven to bake for about 45 minutes until the loaf is risen, golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
From All Things Sweet by Rachel Allen, €25.60 approx. from Amazon
Currabinny Pecan & White Chocolate Banana Loaf
- 125g (4½ oz) Kerrygold butter, melted
- 175g (6oz) plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 150g (5oz) caster sugar
- 2 large, organic eggs
- 4 small, ripe bananas, mashed
- 100g (3½ oz) good-quality white chocolate, chopped into chunks
- 60g (2½ oz) pecans, chopped
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/gas mark 4.
- Brush the inside of the loaf tin with a bit of melted butter, then dust with flour.
- Mix the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the melted butter and sugar together.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then whisk in the mashed bananas.
- Add the white chocolate, pecans and vanilla.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in three stages, stirring after each addition.
- Pour into the loaf tin and bake for 1-1¼ hours.
- Slide a spatula around the edge of the loaf and leave in the tin to cool.
- Now, devour.
The Currabinny Cookbook by James Kavanagh and William Murray, €16.36 approx. from Amazon
The Happy Pear Chocolate Banana Bread
- 100g choc chips or chocolate chopped into chips
- 200g white flour/ white spelt/ buckwheat or GF flour
- 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp bread soda
- 120 ml sunflower/ coconut oil
- 150g liquid sweetener such as maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup etc
- 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
- 6 tbsp water
- 3 ripe bananas
- 50g walnuts
- In a glass or cup mix the ground flax and water and leave to sit for 5 mins until it coagulates.
- In a large bowl add the dry ingredients (flour, cinnamon, baking powder, bread soda)
- In a blender add the wet ingredients, the peeled bananas, sunflower oil, liquid sweetener, soaked ground flax and blend till smooth. If you don’t have a blender mash the bananas and in a bowl mix the wet ingredients till well mixed.
- Add the dry and wet ingredients together and mix till a lovely smooth batter.
- Roughly chop or crush the walnuts.
- Add the chocolate chips and crushed walnuts and mix well.
- Line a baking tray approx 23cm x 15 cm x 5 cm height with baking parchment.
- Pour in the batter into the lined baking tray.
- For decoration if you want you can cut a banana lengthwise in half and put on the top of the batter to caramelise in the oven, add a few extra choc chips on top before baking too for an extra indulgent-looking banana bread!
- Bake for approx 60 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
- Leave to cool and cut and enjoy!
Roz Purcell’s Chocolate Banana Bread
- 3 bananas mashed
- 200 ground almond
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 6 tbsp. cacao
- 4-5 tbsp. honey or maple
- 3 eggs
- 100g dark choc (broken into pieces)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl except the chocolate pieces.
- Stir in the chocolate pieces and pour into a lined bread tin (option to add 1 sliced banana on top).
- Bake for 55 min to 1 hour at 180°C.
- Let cool fully before slicing (approx. 45 mins).
Natural Born Feeder by Rozanna Purcell, €17.29 approx. from Amazon
Donal Skehan’s Auntie Ann’s Banana Bread
- 110g butter
- 190g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 240g self raising flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract
- 3 large bananas
- Optional: 140g chocolate chips or chopped nuts
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Grease a loaf tin.
- Cream the sugar and the butter in a bowl with a hand held mixer until light and pale.
- Add in one egg and a little flour and mix through, repeat with the other egg and the rest of flour and baking soda, until everything is mixed through and smooth.
- Peel the bananas and mash them with the back of a fork. Add them to the bowl with the vanilla extract and mix through. Optional: Add chocolate chips or chopped nuts.
- Pour the mix into a well greased loaf tin and place in an oven for approximately 50 minutes. You can cover it with tinfoil after 25 minutes to stop it browning too much on top if you need too
- Insert a metal skewer into the centre of the loaf and if it comes out clean the banana bread is ready. Remove from the loaf tin and place on a wire rack to cool. Enjoy with a big cuppa!