Friday, 14 June 2013

Easy Banana Bread

I have made many loaves of banana bread from many different recipes but this recipe is certainly my ultimate banana bread! If you don't want or like walnuts it is fine to leave them out or replace them with pecans or chocolate chips. This is brilliant for using up those bananas which have been left in the fruit bowl a little too long. Although not really a bread it is usually called Banana Bread and baked in a loaf tin so I am happy to include it here.


2 large bananas, mashed
160g soft, light brown sugar
100g butter, softened
180g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
50g walnuts, coarsely chopped

Heat the oven to 180°/160°fan/gas mark 4.

Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin, or use liners like I do!

Now put all the ingredients except the walnuts into a bowl and beat them together until thoroughly mixed. I use a stand mixer. Add the walnuts and mix them in. Put the mixture into the lined tin and bake for around an hour until a skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

The bread is lovely on its own but even better spread with butter. Enjoy!

Thursday, 6 June 2013

Tiger Bread

This is an old favourite of mine and many people have tried the recipe when I put it on another blog. So here it is for you to try.


500g bread flour
7g sachet quick yeast
1tsp. salt
3 Tabsp. sesame oil
approx. 300ml warm water

Mix well together, I use a Kenwood chef with a dough hook. You can mix by hand or use a dough setting on a bread machine. Knead until smooth and elastic if mixed by hand.

Allow to rise, covered in oiled cling film for about an hour until doubled in size.

Meanwhile make the Tiger Paste

Mix 100g rice flour, ¼ tsp. salt, 1tsp sugar, ½ tsp. quick yeast, 1 Tabsp. sesame oil and 150ml warm water.

Knock back the dough (just knead for a minute to get the air out) and shape the loaves and or rolls.

When the loaves and rolls have been shaped spread the paste thickly over them and put them to rise again for half an hour. This makes quite a lot of paste so be generous with it. As the bread rises the paste will crack to give the characteristic Tiger Bread crust.

Bake as normal at 220°C/200°fan/Gas 7.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Quick and easy white loaf

Here are the instructions for a quick and easy loaf to get you started if you are new to bread making. I've been making bread for years but I still often make this quick loaf. It is possible to make this loaf in little over an hour if you have a nice warm spot to leave the dough to rise.


500g strong white flour
7g sachet of quick yeast
1 teaspoon salt
300ml warm water (I use about 100ml hot from the kettle and 200ml from the cold tap)

Put all the ingredients into a bowl and mix thoroughly until the dough comes together and all the flour from the sides of the bowl is incorporated.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured or oiled surface and knead it for 10 minutes by stretching the ball of dough with the ball of your hand, folding it back, giving it a quick turn and repeating, no need to be gentle!

The aim of kneading is to develop the gluten to help the bread rise so keep on going until the dough is stretchy and smooth. 

Because you have used quick yeast this dough can now be shaped into a loaf and either be dropped into an oiled 2lb bread tin or placed on an oiled baking tray. Make sure you oil the tins well or line with baking parchment unless you want it to stick to the tin. I have had to scrape my loaf off the tin before now! Cover the shaped loaf with oiled cling film and leave in a warm place to rise for around 45 minutes until doubled in size. This may take more or less time depending on temperature but the yeast will work its magic!

Meanwhile heat your oven to 220°/200°fan/gas mark 6.

Pop the loaf into the oven and turn the oven down to 200°/180°/gas 5. Bake for 35 minutes until golden brown. A gentle tap on the bottom of the loaf and it should sound hollow if its done. If not give it another 5 minutes.

Turn the loaf out onto a wire rack to cool and try not to eat it all at once!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

How to make homemade bread

I absolutely love homemade bread and make it almost every day. On this blog I plan to share with you my recipes and help you to see how easy it is to make your own bread at home. If you use fast yeast, which is easily available, it really doesn't take long to get a loaf of fresh, delicious bread ready. Once you've tasted home made you probably won't want to go back to shop bought bread again.

I make a variety of breads from a quick white loaf to a sourdough which takes a long time to rise and develop its flavour. I like to make flavoured breads too and I will be sharing some of my recipes which include bread as an ingredient.

I hope you will let me know when you try out a recipe and ask me questions if I can help.