The slippery the banana the better
BANANAS are quite literally slippery things. People tend to have very distinct preferences regarding their ripeness, either preferring them properly ripe or slightly green. Of course for the muchloved banana bread, a staple of the South African baking repertoire, the riper the banana, the better.
That does not mean that one cannot make them with slightly less ripe bananas, but riper ones mash just so much easier and have that heady smell of rich, ripe fruit. In any event, it is possible to pop over-ripe bananas into the deepfreeze, skin and all, for when next you plan to bake a loaf.
Bananas may well have been the first fruit cultivated by man: wild plants that produced predominantly inedible fruit (in their uncooked state) had to be crossed with another variety to create a sterile plant that produces dessert bananas as we know them today. History tells us that it was Alexander the Great that brought bananas to the west from the Indian Set oven to 180 C. Sift together: 2 cups cake flour ¾ cup normal white sugar ¾ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda ½ teaspoon salt Mash 3 to 4 bananas with a potato masher
Mix in ¼ cup plain yoghurt, 2 large eggs, 6 tablespoons (90g) melted and slightly cooled butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla valleys in 327 BC, and that they were only introduced to Africa by Islamic conquerors through Madagascar around 650 AD.
The word banana is said to be credited to the Arabic word for fingers — banan — and today there are numerous products made from it; even a flour which I have not yet used, but which sounds intriguing as a possibility to substitute the normal flour in a banana bread. extract.
Mix very lightly into the dry ingredients, even if there are slight traces of flour left. Spoon into two small bread tins (only greased at the bottom — this helps the bread cling to the sides while rising) and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Most banana breads benefit from being kept in an airtight container for a day or two, during which time the flavour intensifies and improves.
Highly affordable in our country, we still do not beat countries in the East African highlands, such as Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda, where the per capita consumption is around 45kg.
Banana breads or loaves are classified among those easy-tomake breads that use baking powder or bicarbonate of soda as a raising agent, whereas normal bread proves from a fermentation process. Banana bread — like rusks — sits comfortably in that “not quite cake and not quite bread” space that South Africans like so much.
Also referred to as tea breads, banana bread and its cousins such as ginger bread, date loaves and Boston tea loaves are excellently suited to a spread of thick butter and a cup of strong tea. Most of these are made by first creaming the sugar and butter together, then adding the eggs and lastly the dry ingredients.
This recipe by EG Crampton uses yoghurt as the acidic catalyst necessary to get the bicarbonate of soda to do its leavening job. She says that one can add 1¼ cup of walnuts to the mix, but I find that too American a variation and have made it without; rather add an extra banana if like me you love banana bread with a really forceful banana flavour.