Banana Bread - The One

Winter arrived in earnest this week and as I huddled indoors with Master N, it seemed a perfect time to turn the two over-ripe bananas in my fruit bowl into banana bread. Banana and coconut bread actually. They serve it at my local, Laneway, and I wanted to have a go at recreating it using my go-to banana bread recipe.

It took me a while to arrive at what I consider to be the best banana bread recipe in the world. It’s Bill Granger’s. Well, it was before I went a-tweaking to try to meet the near impossible criteria set by my cafes.  

Turns out baking “cafe standard” banana bread is quite a feat. I needed a really long, really wide and high loaf that was nice and moist (and not too dense) and that would last for up to a week. Oh, and it still had to have that homemade buttery taste but not too much of a homemade rustic look. Not too much to ask, surely?

I tried various recipes, tin sizes and played around with quantities before finding The One. I top mine with Demerara sugar and chopped pecans. It’s soft and fluffy but not crumbly and the coconut adds another layer of flavour that is yum yum yum.

It's wonderful on it's own, especially on the day of baking, but on subsequent days I like to serve it lightly toasted with a smear of ricotta and a drizzle of maple syrup. Has anyone else discovered this MAP vanilla bean maple syrup? Someone should lock mine away from me, fast.

Here, I share the love that is Bill’s banana bread recipe. It’s perfect for a spot of long weekend baking, or keep it up your sleeve for a rainy day like I did :)

Have you ever gone on a quest to find The One recipe?

Larissa xx

Banana and Coconut Loaf
(Recipe based on Bill Granger’s Melt & Mix Banana Bread recipe, published in the SMH’s Good Living liftout in June 2007)
Makes two loaves - one for now and one to freeze for later. Hurrah!

2 tbsp Demerara (or raw) sugar
30g pecan nuts, roughly chopped
375ml sour cream
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
125g butter
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup caster sugar
2 ripe large bananas, mashed
1 ¾ cups self raising flour, sifted.
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ cup coconut

Preheat oven to 180C.
Grease and line two 10 x 18cm loaf tins with baking paper.
Mix Demerara sugar and pecans in a small bowl and set aside.
Mix sour cream and bicarbonate of soda in a large bowl together and set aside for 5 mins.
Combine sifted flour, cinnamon and coconut in a large bowl.
Melt butter and whisk into the sour cream mixture, followed by eggs and sugar. 
Add the sour cream mixture to the flour, cinnamon and coconut and stir until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix as you don’t want rubbery banana bread.
Fold in the mashed bananas, stirring until just combined.
Spoon the batter into prepared tins and sprinkle sugar and pecans on top.
Bake for appx 60 - 90 mins (or until golden brown on top and a skewer comes out clean).
Cool for at least 20 mins in tins before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
I can never wait until then and usually slice when it’s warm and lovely!
Serve plain or with butter, or my favourite, with ricotta and honey or maple syrup.


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