Banana Nut Loaf

I had baked this bread for two reasons

1. I felt it would be good to have a flavoured bread to munch on way to Dandeli, and
2. It was just right for Not just Nigella's banana bread bake off event.

The bread did not make it to the event as I could not post it on time due to non-availability of net connection that morning, and the fact that there is a real life existence which is far more demanding than the virtual life I am leading here.

A few days before I made this bread I had been googling (sometimes I also use mamma's search engine) for eggless breads and stumbled upon Bellini Valli's English Muffin Loaf. The picture was very appealing so I decided to make it for us to eat enroute. Then I realised that I had a whole overripe banana that had been specially bought the second time round (The first went into the dustbin) for the banana bread, and I did not want it to go waste, so that got added along with a few almonds to Valli's recipe.

The loaf is a shade darker than I would have liked it to be. This happened because I got carried away by Vaishali's beautifully written post on Nike here. Thankfully, the bread turned out tasty and nice though it was prepared in a distracted manner.

Banana Nut Loaf
(Adapted from Bellini Valli's English Muffin Loaf)

7g yeast
½ cup lukewarm water
1tbsp. caster sugar
1 cup milk
1/2tsp. salt
½ cup powdered cashews and almonds
1 big over ripe banana
2 ½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup wheat bran
¼ tsp. baking soda

1. Sieve baking soda and flour together thrice.
2. Add the bran and powdered nuts and mix.
3. Dissolve the yeast in water and set to froth.
4. Dissolve the salt in milk and heat to lukewarm.

5. Mix 1 and 2 above.

6. Add mashed banana and mix.
7. Add the flour mixture a cup at a time and mix to form a sticky batter.

8. Lightly oil a bowl and leave to raise for ½ hr.
9. Knead again and press into the mould. Sprinkle some chopped walnuts and press lightly.

10. Stand till it rises well and pop into a hot oven at 180 deg. C.
11. Bake till the top is browned well. About 25 to 30 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes and turn it out on rack to cool completely before slicing.

Serving suggestion:
I sliced and carried the loaf in a bread loaf box. We ate it without any accompaniments as it was quite nice without adding sauce or jam or butter. Had I been at home I would have had it with butter and tea as it is more of a tea bread.

I later learnt that Banana breads are generally leavened with baking powder or soda and not with yeast. Not sure whether it makes any difference as this bread was good with yeast as the leavening agent.

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