Friday, March 2, 2012

Daring Bakers February Challenge - Quick Bread

banana bread, with plenty of walnuts!

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

OMG I am so late and I've missed so many challenges!! Determined to complete March's challenge and post it. URGH!

lovely crumb and texture

So for the previous month, I've made a banana bread with plenty of walnuts. Bananas were expensive in Perth before I went back, at around 6 dollars a kilogram due to the floods in Queensland, where the bananas came from. I was so devastated that when I was back in Singapore, I made sure there was bananas in the house all the time since its perpetually cheap. Prices fell again this summer, back to 1.60 AUD a kilogram, which was way more reasonable and so here comes bananas in the house! =D Speaking of which, this is my first baking project in the new house!! WOOHOO! It worked! nomnomnom

I really love this banana bread, simply because my lovely friend, V.Lo mixed it for me while I watched her do it. Deft hands, dainty movements with loads of love, one can only expect the bread to taste amazing. And it did. Food from the heart always tastes better.

unknowingly finished the slices that I've cut for the photos.. oops

from Joe Pastry

2 overripe bananas, made about 3/4 cup banana
3/4 tbs buttermilk
1/2 tsp lemon juice
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
55g butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg at room temperature
a cup of chopped walnuts, to spread on top

1. Preheat oven to 185 deg C.
2. Mash the banana, lemon juice and buttermilk together.
3. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer until light and fluffy, pale yellow in color. Then add eggs one by one whilst beating between each addition.
4. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and mix gently, followed by 1/2 of the banana mixture, then another 1/3 of the flour mixture, then remaining 1/2 of the banana mixture, and then the last 1/3 of the flour mixture. Gently mixing after each addition. Do not overmix!
5. Leave at least a few streaks of white (flour mixture) to ensure that you do not overmix. Remember to scrape the bowl a lot! Scrape it into the pan and spread the chopped walnuts on top. Alternatively, swirl the chopped walnuts in gently with a spatula
6. Bake for an hour until firm and toothpick test comes out clean. Cool it in the pan, before slicing and enjoying!

Pressure points and top tips! (from trial and error) =D

1. Don't overmix. Leaving that few streaks of flour ensures that the gluten in the flour isn't overly activated, which would lead to a bread with tough leathery texture.

2. Use really really really ripe bananas because the flavor from the banana will be really intense.

3. Eat the batter. Its delicious.


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