Wholemeal Banana and Chocolate Bread

Thursday, November 13, 2014

You know when you have one of those days, that from the moment you wake up, everything just goes wrong? Or at least, not quite as you wanted it? Well last Sunday was one of those days. I had grand plans of getting loads of sewing done, writing up lots of blog posts, but most importantly, making and documenting my favourite banana bread recipe for the blog. Of course the weather wasn't playing nice (and I have quite a small kitchen - which you might see more of on Monday actually!) and it was almost impossible get decent in focus photos...let alone ones with lovely lighting. Once the ingredients were all set out I realised that I didn't have enough sugar so Hubs had to pick some up for me on the way home. Then I decided to add the eggs too soon and produced a rather disgusting sugar/egg/butter scramble which ended up having to go down the toilet and I had to start again!

But after that, things got a bit better, and I did end up with a scrumy loaf of 'healthy' banana bread, which we have been enjoying all this week with a nice cup of hot tea.


Anyway, I digress! This recipe is one that I have played with and tweaked for a number of years until I think I have finally come up with my favourite version for banana bread. It's origins started from this recipe on the Good Food website (which is in itself a delicious rendition), but I'm not a fan of nuts in bread (I know, but it's true), but I'm always a fan of chocolate!





Now I know it's got chocolate in it (and quite a bit - I don't like to scrimp!), but I balance that little bit of naughtiness by substituting half of the plain flour for coarse wholemeal flour. That, teamed with the dark muscovado sugar creates a delightfully deep richness with a lovely texture.

The finishing touch is sprinkling the top (prior to popping it in the oven) with demerara sugar and a finely milled mix of flax, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds and goji berries (which I get from the local brand Linnwoods). By doing this you get a really fantastic sweet crunch to the top of the bread.

Before the topping is added



After the topping is added

I brought two of these loaves into work as my 'Birthday Buns' this year and I was delighted that they went down a storm, with everyone requesting the recipe. Because of that, I thought some of you might like the recipe too. Honestly, you should give this bread a go, it is really delicious, and I know you will love it!

Wholemeal Banana and Chocolate Bread

Ingredients

100g softened unsalted butter
140g dark muscovado sugar
2 large eggs
3 large ripe bananas, mashed (use a fork!)
100g dark chocolate chips
150ml buttermilk
140g plain flour
140g coarse wholemeal flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tsp demerara sugar
2 tsp mixed milled seeds

Method

1. Preheat the oven to fan 160C / conventional 180C / gas 4. Butter a 20x13cm loaf tin.
2. Whisk together the butter and sugar with an electric whisk until creamy. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Don't worry if the mixture looks curdled - mine does every time and it makes no difference. 
3. With a wooden spoon, stir in the mashed banana, chocolate chips and buttermilk
4. Sift the plain flour and bicarbonate of soda on top of the banana mixture, add the wholemeal flour and then fold in until evenly mixed. Take care not to over mix though.
5. Pour or spoon into the prepared tin and level the top. Sprinkle on the demerara sugar and milled seed mix over the top.
6.Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Check the bread at after about 1hr with the old skewer test. If you insert a skewer into the centre of the bread and it comes out almost dry, it's ready. 
6. Remove from the over and leave it for about 10 minutes, and then turn it out of the tin onto a rack to cool.
7. Boil the kettle, make yourself a cup tea and enjoy your scrumy banana bread!



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