Friday, June 06, 2008

Banana Bread

Melbourne vs Sydney
Safeway vs Woolworths
Trams vs Double decker trains
Cafe coffee vs Starbucks cawfee
Muffins vs… ... Banana bread?

As a born and bred Melburnian, I didn’t even notice the Banana Bread.
It was there. In fact, it was everywhere. We just didn’t know to see it.

At the Glebe Market cawfee stall, there were piles and piles of muffins but only one slice of cake left: ‘gee, these Sydney folk sure love their cake loaves huh’ I thought, ignorant of my ignorance.

It finally took a former-Melburnite, Magic G, to alert us to a Sydneysiders’ favourite breakfast/snack/afternoon tea – banana bread.

Thankfully, Magic G spoke in a language we could understand: (to paraphrase) It’s like the $5 coffee + muffin at home. But here, you get the $5 coffee + banana bread deal.

So, in addition to travelling through the chilled calm of the Blue Mountains, seeing the sunrise over the Opera House, lining up to eat (at Ichi Ban-Boshi) and hanging out at the Best Book Shop ever – we capped off our quintessential Sydney experience with a slice of toasted, buttered banana bread at the airport.
Not quite bread.
Not quite muffin.
Not quite cake.
More like a dough-y banana-y cake.

This recipe tastes quite close to the one we tried, try it and see what you think!

Choc-banana bread
from bills food, by bill granger

250g (2C) plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
125g (4.5oz) unsalted butter, softened
250g (1C) caster sugar
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
175g (1C) good quality dark or milk chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 180degC. Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl.

Mix the butter, sugar, banana, eggs, vanilla extract and chocolate chips in a separate bowl. Add to the dry ingredients and stir to combine, being careful not to overmix.

Pour the batter into a non-stick, or lightly greased and floured, 19 x 11cm (7.5 x 4.5 inch) loaf tin and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the bread is cooked when tested with a skewer.

Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

Serve in thick slices with butter. Makes 8-10 slices.


  1. looks yummy...we should start the banana bread custom in melbourne, it might take off!

    can't wait to come back and try lucky bill's recipe...he's come good before!

  2. Yeah there's definitely some strange parallels... I think its only called Safeway in melbourne and woolies everywhere else. And are we known for our muffins? (Hooray for sticky date puds?)

    The banana bread looks great though, and I swear I can smell it's sweet toasty goodness now. Hmm... will have to try it out soon!

  3. Yeah... I had the same banana bread epiphany at The Little Marionette when I went up to Sydney for the Bjork concert. Sydney food blogger Not Quite Nigella did a great round-up of 79 (!!!) banana bread recipes (including mine, a bastardised version of bills).

  4. omg claire!!! all those loaves on nqn are overwhelming, espec for a banana bread newbie.
    who knew?
    (ok, the millions who live in sydney..i feel gastronomically naive all of a sudden ;p )

    i do like the sound of your passionfruit butter though...


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