Found yourself making a lot of banana bread recently? Haven’t we all? We asked some of London’s top bakers to share their tips for making the sweet, stodgy comfort food. From Dominique Ansel to Lewis Freeman from the 200-year-old Dunn’s bakery, here’s what they said.
1. Daisy Terry, The Dusty Knuckle
‘We like to caramelise the banana bits before they go into the batter. Not only are sugar and butter good additions to everything but also it means you don’t have to wait for your bananas to be perfectly ripe, which means you can make banana bread whenever you feel like it which, let’s face it, is most days at the moment. Add 300g sugar and 60g of water to a hot pan and watch it carefully until it starts to bubble and turn golden brown (don’t be tempted to stir it). Once it’s the perfect colour, lower the heat, add a big knob of butter and your chopped banana and simmer until the banana breaks up a bit and is gooey and lush. Add this to any banana bread recipe.’ The Dusty Knuckle is doing deliveries from April 14.
2. Gábor Boros, Little Bread Pedlar
‘I always like to use melted brown butter to give an extra nutty flavour. If you’ve never used brown butter before, you just need to melt the butter on a low heat until it starts turning brown. For an extra kick and depth of taste, add some dark rum (if you have a spiced one, even better, but any type of dark rum will work). You can never go wrong with rum in baking, try it in other desserts as well.’ You can order online from Little Bread Pedlar now.
3. Dominique Ansel, Dominique Ansel Bakery
‘One thing I like for my banana bread is to use whole nutmeg that you can grate with a microplane. The flavour is fragrant and bold, and different to your store-bought grated nutmeg. It’ll perfume the banana bread really nicely.’ Dominique Ansel Bakery is open for takeaway.
4. Lewis Freeman, Dunn’s Bakery
‘The one thing that really makes our banana bread really special is the mixed spice we use. It’s not the mixed spice you find in the UK, but instead we buy it specially from the Netherlands and so it is a different blend of spices: the spice used in the speculaas biscuits you’d find on the cobbled streets of Maastricht.’ [We’ve found a link to buy it here and a recipe for it here.] Dunn’s is providing home deliveries.
5. Fergus Jackson, Brick House
‘I like to take it to the dark side by using around half the sugar quantity as muscovado, and adding a good splash of dark rum. Best served toasted on a griddle or frying pan with a good knob of salted butter.’ Brick House is selling sourdough starter kits online.
5. David Gingell, Jolene
‘I like to give it a nice lick of apricot jam and some rum as soon as it comes out of the oven.’ You can buy vouchers for Jolene online.
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