Banana bread from other grandmothers

It has been a long time between recipes. You know when your bones ache and your head feels too busy, too clamoured, too noisy? That has been this week for me. But banana bread saves the day. As always.

Yesterday I was graciously given four spotted bananas. Nana Jean doesn’t have any banana bread recipes in this cookbook. In her mother’s book, there are plenty. But her mother’s book is packed away in storage, and it is completely beyond my ability to find it at the moment. And by that, I mean, I cannot fathom entering the shed and looking through the two dozen or so boxes amongst all the spiders and dust and spiders.

I have recently read a book that tells the tale of a Russian woman and her self-creation as a cook. It is called Tatiana’s Table, and it is beautiful. In this book I found a recipe for banana bread. And much like I fall in love with characters in books, I fell in love with the idea of Tatiana’s banana bread. And so this morning, with unseasonable light streaming through the window, I set to recreating this cake.

And let’s be honest. Banana bread is a cake. Lacking any yeast I find it difficult to reconcile true bread with banana bread. But whatever makes you happy, and whatever comes to your tongue naturally!

Tatiana recommends throwing in a half cup of chocolate chips, or walnuts. I am a purist, though, and had no desire to do this, even though I have both in my pantry. If you choose to deviate, please let me know the results!

Oh, and I should mention that I was probably somewhat subliminally influenced by Linguistics & Cakes’ banana bread that I stumbled upon a week or so ago. I have so much love for baking blog inspiration, do you?

Merry baking comrades…


~ ~ ~

Banana bread

a la Tatiana, from Paulina Simons’ Tatiana’s Table

110 g butter, at room temperature

1 cup sugar (I used half a cup, as I don’t like very sweet things)

2 eggs, at room temperature

4 tsp fresh lemon juice

1 tsp grated orange zest

1/3 cup water

1 tsp vanilla extract (I use organic vanilla bean paste)

4 very ripe bananas, mashed

1 ¾ cup plain flour

1 tsp baking powder (soda)

1/2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 180 deg. C (350 deg. F). Grease the bottom of a loaf pan.

Cream butter and sugar, then add the eggs. Mix in juice, zest, water, vanilla and lastly the bananas. Fold in the flour (which has had the salt and baking powder thoroughly mixed through) until just combined. Pour into tin and bake for about 45 minutes, or until golden and fragrant.



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