So this banana walks into a bar. Bartender looks him over, thinks about it, says, “You know what, I like you. You’ve got a lot of a peel.”
I had a lot of overripe bananas in my cupboard (6 to be precise!) and I’m not a big fan of bananas on their own. However, Banana bread is another story and our parents always taught us waste not, want not right?
So I started scouring the internet for Banana bread recipes and decided to compare the first two recipes that popped up on Google, one by BBC Good Food (BGF) and the other by BBC Food (BF). Both of these recipes were baked in a loaf tin and used caster sugar, whole eggs, butter and bananas. However, the flour and leavening agents differed. The links to the recipes can be found below.
BGF – This recipe called for self-raising flour and baking powder as the leavening agent. It is mixed through the creaming method, adding the eggs one at a time with a little bit of flour and then adding the rest of the ingredients. The recipe states to bake this for 30 minutes at 180C/160C fan/gas 4. However, I found that 23 minutes in, my top was rather brown and so I covered it in foil and left it to cook. After 30 minutes in total, the skewer was still covered in mixture and I left it to cook for a further 18 minutes with the foil on top. Overall, I cooked this for a total of 48 minutes – longer than the recipe stated.
BF – This recipe called for additional ingredient such as salt, vanilla extract, plain flour, buttermilk (I substituted this for normal milk and vinegar as I had no buttermilk to hand) and bicarbonate soda as the leavening agent. Bicarbonate soda and vinegar react to produce carbon dioxide which explains the rise in the banana bread (see picture). It is mixed through the creaming method, then all the wet ingredients are added in and then the dry ingredients are folded through. The recipe states to bake this at 180C for 1 hour but as I have a fan oven, I cooked it at 175C for 1 hour. Twenty minutes in, my top had browned significantly and so I covered it in foil. Overall, I cooked this for 1 hour and 10 minutes – slightly longer than the recipe stated.
Both recipes were pleasantly palatable but there were some differences with the texture.
BGF – Although it did not rise as much as BF, this was light, moist and melted in the mouth. There was a mild banana taste as this recipe only used 2 bananas.
BF – Compared to BGF, this one had a much more firm and closed texture and was slightly drier. However, as this recipe called for 4 bananas, it had a much more of banana flavour. The outside of the Banana bread had developed a slight crust which I believe would be nice with a cup of tea.
My personal preference was the recipe by BGF because of the milder banana taste. It also takes less time and uses fewer ingredients. You would be able to make this recipe with your staple cupboard items. However, if you prefer your Banana bread to have a firmer texture and strong banana flavour then the BF recipe would be your go to Banana bread. I would have loved to experiment with other Banana bread recipes to give you more of a rounded comparison, but unfortunately I was slightly hindered by the lack of overripe bananas.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this comparison and it has inspired you to not waste those left over bananas.
Until next time…