Here in Finland we are not very accustomed to any type of British-style ‘tea bread’. If we want something to enjoy with coffee or tea, it’s usually an open sandwich, or the traditional ‘pulla’ if you fancy something sweet. Yet, living in a Finnish-British family, I soon got to know all the nice British goodies for tea time.
I once found this recipe in an old English home baking book, and have gradually developed it for my liking. Even though it’s baked in a loaf tin, and called ‘bread’, for me it’s still more like ‘cake’, due to its sweetness. When our daughter was small, this soon became our staple for the many long road trips we went on around Europe. I usually baked at least two, wrapped them in foil, and that would be our breakfast and snack during the trip. It keeps well, thanks to the moisture from the bananas, and is nourishing and comforting.
- 120 g butter
- 120 g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 120 g plain flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 55 g wholewheat flour
- 3 large ripe bananas (I always buy fair trade or organic)
- 1 tsp vanilla essence (or vanilla sugar)
- 55 g chopped walnuts (I chop mine rough as I like a crunchy consistency)
THIS IS WHAT YOU DO
- with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy
- add the eggs, one at a time
- mix together the plain flour, soda, salt and cinnamon, and add to the mixture
- stir in the wholewheat flour
- with a fork, mash the bananas to a purée and stir into the mixture
- add the vanilla and nuts
- pour the mixture into a loaf tin, lined with greaseproof paper and bake in 180° C for 50-60 minutes
Cut nice and thick slices, and enjoy – on its own, with tea or coffee or any way you like! Delicious warm straight out of the oven but just as nice as a cold snack on the road.
I was reminded of this old favourite during my recent two-week adventure in Australia, as I found banana bread in the breakfast menu of almost every café I visited there. They usually served it toasted, with some butter on top. That was new to me, as we always used to devour our slices plain. So thank you Australia for giving me a new breakfast idea!