A simple recipe which requires absolutely no cooking skills. The only slightly "different" ingredient are the bananas. It's essential that they are over-ripe. Around half of the skins should be brown which indicates that the banana flesh will be soft and slightly mushy.
There are two prime reasons for using slightly over-ripe bananas. The first is that the bananas will be sweeter and have a more concentrated banana flavour compared to normal bananas and this is key to this recipe. The second reason is that over-ripe bananas are easy to mash up.
You can speed up the ripening process by putting the bananas in a paper bag, or a plastic bag with small holes in it. Place the bag in a slightly warm area of the kitchen.
You can microwave bananas to soften them although they will lack that concentrated flavour. To do this, prick the skins all over with a fork and then microwave on high for up to a minute. Test the firmness and if necessary, microwave for 30 seconds more until they are soft.
A great use for over-ripe bananas which might otherwise be thrown away.
Rather bizarrely, in the United States they have a National Banana Day which is on the third Wednesday of April each year.
225g / 8oz Self-raising flour
175g / 6oz Mixed dried fruit (see below)
140g / 5oz Superfine / caster sugar
110g / 4oz Butter
2 medium eggs
½ teaspoon of salt
Grease the bread tin with butter or margarine.
Separate out the individual fruit pieces in the mixed dried fruit. When you buy a pack of mixed dried fruit the different small fruits (sultanas etc.) are all clumped together. These need to be separated.
Peel then mash the bananas with a fork
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C / Fan 160°C / 350°F / Gas Mark 4
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To make the Banana Bread mix, pour all the ingredients (except the dried fruit) into a mixing bowl and combine together. This can be done by hand using a fork.
Now add the dried fruit and mix well until they are distributed evenly.STEP 2
Pour the mixture into the greased bread tin and place in the centre of the oven. Don't open the oven for the next 45 minutes.STEP 3
After 45 to 50 minutes of cooking, test the banana bread to see if it's cooked. The moisture level in the bananas can vary considerably and affect the cooking time.
Test by inserting a skewer or fork into the middle of the bread. If it comes out "clean" your bread is cooked. If it has wet bread stuck to it, cook for a further ten minutes and test again.