Banana and Coconut bread proves squashed banana’s aren’t just for slipping on…

As a chef, I’m loathe to throw out food!

Anything  that resembles something edible gets used, re-hashed, turned into stock, made into muffins or smoked, deep fried, preserved and brined.

I once worked in a very busy breakfast restaurant were fresh bananas were used by the box load daily. Sometimes the bananas would sit in the hot kitchen a little longer than desirable to be used under hotcakes, so we would turn these bananas into gorgeous loaves of twinkling banana bread.

My heart starts to sing when I see bananas starting to ripen and brown. I like to help them along in their over-ripening process by squeezing and prodding them and placing them in the freezer to really push them along the browning up stage.

Once the bananas are fully ruined for “normal” peeling and eating, its time to turn up the heat in the oven and make some of these delicious banana loaves. I like to use thread coconut in mine which helps to keep the bread decidedly moist and the crumb tender.

Ingredients:

4 large squeeshy, over ripe, brown and nasty BANANAS ~ mashed with a fork

125gms butter ~ softened

125gms/1/2 cup caster sugar

125gms/1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 large eggs ~ beaten lightly

250gms/2 cups of plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1 cup of thread coconut

Methodology:

Preheat your oven on bake or fan bake 190C/ 380 F.

Into a large mixing bowl combine the butter and sugar, followed by the banana mess, eggs and vanilla extract.

Toss in the coconut and stir well to combine.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt straight over top of the wet ingredients and fold through. At this point you want to be careful not to over mix. Over mixing will excite the gluten in the flour  causing  your bread to became tough and gluey. So to keep the gluten from getting to excited, be gentle with this step and fold rather than mix furiously.

Grease a loaf tin ~ making sure all the corners are adequately covered so the bread doesn’t stick. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 1 hour.

Test the bread by touching the middle gently with your finger ~ it will bounce back when it is cooked. You can also test by placing a skewer into the bread. If the skewer comes out clean with no sticky batter on it ~ its ready.

Remove form the oven and allow the loaf to to cool slightly for 10 minutes before turning out on to a wire rack to cool completely.

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With 20+ years working in commercial kitchens, I’m here to share with you some of the best secrets of the trade to help you cook better, faster and to eat well. You will surprise a lot of family & friends when you give some of my recipes a try.

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