The ULTIMATE Banana Loaf (Optional Dairy-Free)

Say HELLO to this amazing banana loaf. You really have no reason to not love this loaf, unless of course you don’t like bananas (like my best friend) or don’t like cake (like my boyfriend) – in that case you’re just strange.img_5038

I absolutely love baking (well actually I just really like eating what I bake) and, in attempt to be slightly healthy this year, I decided to bake a banana loaf.

Of course, who else to turn to than the queen of baking, Mary Berry, to provide me with one of her fabulous recipes; just to be clear I am not trying to claim this as my own recipe. However, as a little twist on this recipe I have made it dairy free because I’m lactose intolerant and trying to cut it out, that being said you don’t have to make it dairy free. Another alteration I would suggest, that I am definitely going to try in the future, is potentially adding bits of chocolate to make it even more tempting.

Ok so let’s crack into the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 100g (4 oz) softened butter – I used pure spread as this is a dairy free spread and found it was the right texture to use when I got it out the fridge
  • 175g (6oz) caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed – As I hadn’t been very prepared I had no bananas in at all however on a trip to Sainsbury’s we easily found bananas that were ripe enough to use for this recipe: BONUS you don’t always need to be completely organised.
  • 225g (8 oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk – As mentioned above I am doing this dairy free and therefore used almond milk, but it didn’t change the taste of the banana bread.

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As a side note, Mary Berry describes this recipe as a moist loaf; we found even as dairy free it is still super moist. You really can’t taste the difference: don’t be put off baking if you are dairy free.

What you’ll need:

  • Oven – you may struggle without this, it’s pretty vital
  • Mixing bowl
  • Scales
  • Spatula – to smooth top and help pour mixture into tin
  • Electric whisk (or just a whisk if you want the extra January exercise)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring jug
  • Loaf tin (2 lb)
  • Loaf tin liner – this is what we used instead of baking paper to line the tray. We bought ours from Lakeland and they are amazing – absolutely no preparation you just slip it into the tray. You can probably buy them from most supermarkets.

Method:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Grease and line your 900g (2 lb) tin with baking parchment/ liner, as mentioned above.img_5002
  2. Mash the bananas.
  3. Measure all ingredients into a mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes, until well blended. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the surface.
  4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 1 hour, (check after about 45 minutes) until well risen and golden brown. A fine skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for a few minutes then turn out, peel off parchment and finish cooling on a wire rack.img_5044
  5. Slice thickly to serve. This banana bread is so moist it doesn’t actually need any butter on it, however no one will judge; either way it is tasty.

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This recipe is so easy and so fast to make; if you make this then you shouldn’t be disappointed (unless you really can’t cook).

I want to emphasise that I am not claiming this recipe as my own. This is from a recipe book by Mary Berry, I am simply showing the process I went through making this loaf and the changes implemented to make it dairy free. The photos are all mine. Any bits of the recipe added in italics are my own personal additions.

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