With enough sweetness to sooth 'frayed edges' but with just a little healthy grain thrown in, this banana bread is one of my family's favourites and a recipe I always turn to when the going gets tough.
5 medium, very ripe bananas
1/2 cup neutral oil (I like Ricebran)
220g light brown sugar
2 large eggs (at room temp)
1 tsp vanilla extract
120g standard flour (red packaging)
120g wholemeal flour
1tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup walnuts (or raisins, or chocolate drops)
1tsp cinnamon, 1 tbsp castor sugar, mixed together, for topping
Preheat the oven to 180C (non-fan) or 170C (fan). Lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin (I use our Le Creuset large loaf pan) and line with a single sheet of parchment paper.
In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla. I often use a hand held electric beater for this which takes all that wristwork out of mashing lots of bananas.
Mix flours, baking soda and powder, salt, cinnamon and walnuts (or your choice of additions) in a large bowl. Add the banana mixture and gently combine without overmixing.
Spoon the batter into your prepared tin. Top with the combined cinnamon/sugar mixture (not compulsory but my family loves it).
Bake for around an hour, testing for doneness after around 50 mins by inserting a skewer into the middle of the bread. It should come out clean and free from raw batter. Cool for 10 mins in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Serve as is, or spread with fresh butter - it's delicious either way. Store sealed in an air tight tin for 2-3 days. In summer, in Auckland, I often store in the fridge to lengthen the storage time without it going mouldy in the humidity.