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Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Baking A Banana Loaf Using A Sourdough Starter

Visiting my sister-in-law, I saw a couple of overly ripe bananas in her kitchen and suggested she baked a banana bread. She admitted that she had intended to do so, only to discover that her oven wasn't working. I opted to take the bananas with me and return with a banana bread for a second visit. Arriving home, I thought it would be a great opportunity to experiment with using my sourdough starter to bake a banana bread. I did exactly that and was so impressed with the results, that I simply had to share the recipe.

You will need about 1/2 cup (125 ml or 125 g) of butter or margarine at room temperature.

Cream the butter/margarine with a cup (250 ml) sugar.

Add 4-8 ripe bananas.

Mix the bananas and creamed sugar and butter together.

Add a teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla essence and 2 eggs.

Add 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) sourdough starter.
Option: If you are using Instant Dry Yeast, you should add a packet to the mixture instead of, or in combination with, the sourdough starter. We are not adding any liquids to the dough and I therefore do not recommend using Active Dry Yeast as there is no liquid to develop it in.

Add 2 cups (500 ml) flour and 1/2 teaspoon (2,5 ml) salt.

Mix everything together. At this stage you have a very basic banana bread recipe, aside from the fact that you have NOT added 2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking powder. We left this out and replaced it with the sourdough starter.

Sourdough needs a dough, instead of a batter. The bubbles will simply pop in a batter, while a dough will trap the air, allowing the dough to rise. We now need to add more flour to create a dough. I added a teaspoon (5 ml) of banana flavouring as I wanted a stronger banana flavour than the 4 bananas would give me. I would have preferred to have worked with 8 bananas. I also added 1/2 cup (125 ml) of sugar. More bananas would have added more natural sweetness. I now needed to add it artificially. If you are uncertain about adding more sugar, taste your dough when you bring it together to satisfy yourself and add it if necessary. I added 2 cups (500 ml) of flour.

Bring the dough together. Add more flour if necessary. Knead for about 10 minutes.

Prepare a small bread pan with non-stick coating and sprinkle flour on the bottom.

Transfer the dough to the tin.

Allow to rise in a warm dry place after covering it with plastic.

Preheat the oven to 200 °C and bake for about an hour.

The bread is done when you hear a hollow sound when tapping the bottom of the loaf.

Allow to cool on a wire rack. You can spread a damp cloth over the hot bread if you prefer a softer crust.

Serve with butter.

Marietjie Uys (Miekie) is a published author. You can buy the books here:
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