Banana & Blueberry Loaf

Everyone loves banana bread, don’t they? It’s the perfect way to trick ourselves into thinking we are being healthy (it definitely doesn’t count as cake when there’s fruit involved, right?) and there is something so comforting and homely about it.

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Banana bread and blueberry muffins are the two things that I can remember baking with my mum when I was little. Even the smell of this baking in the oven throws me right back to my childhood; to the days where I would sit on the kitchen floor in front of the oven door and watch the blueberries burst as the muffins cooked. I told Wayne I used to do this and I was met with a look of utter confusion, before he politely nodded and silently turned his attention back to his Twitter feed. So, I thought I would do my best to combine my two favourites and create the perfect banana and blueberry loaf.

This recipe for banana bread is so quick and easy. It’s the perfect thing to throw together to make that afternoon cup of tea with a friend seem so much more grown up and civilized. It’s based on Mary Berry’s banana bread recipe from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible, but with a few changes I have made along the way.

Ingredients
– 225g Self-Raising Flour
– 100g Soft Butter
– 175g Caster Sugar
– 2 Large Eggs
– 2/3 Ripe Bananas (Mashed)
– 1 tsp Baking Powder
– 2 tbsp Milk
– 2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
– 1 Handful of Blueberries (Or if blueberries aren’t your thing dark chocolate chips would work well too)

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Method

– Preheat the oven to 160C

– Grease and line your bread tin with baking parchment

– Weigh out all of the ingredients and throw together in a mixing bowl

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– If using a mixer, use the beating tool to mix everything together – this shouldn’t take longer than a couple of minutes. If mixing by hand use a wooden spoon and beat the mixture until you have a relatively smooth consistency

– Once the mixture is looking ready, gently stir in the blueberries. A little tip I have learnt is to lightly coat the berries in flour before adding them to the mixture to stop them from sinking to the bottom of your cake (although I have found this to be fairly hit and miss)

– Spoon the mixture into the waiting bread tin and pop on to the middle shelf of the oven for around 1 hour

– When it’s brown on top and smelling delicious, take out of the oven and poke with a metal skewer. When it comes out clean you’re good to go!

– Leave to rest in the tin for 10 minutes or so before transferring to a wire rack to cool

When the loaf is almost completely cool it will slice perfectly and hold its shape, but who really wants to wait that long? I was far too excited to discover the blueberry-banana goodness beneath that golden exterior than worry about the crumbs!

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