Bananas are so simple, so versatile, so cheap, that it’s easy to forget how exotic they are: tropical fruit par excellence. My brother had a girlfriend from eastern Germany who had never seen a banana until the Berlin wall came down. She was 14. And anyone tempted to hero worship author Evelyn Waugh should read the story of how he ate his children’s ration of postwar bananas, in front of their noses. Think bananas too bland? Try them sliced, sprinkled with lime juice and a few chilli flakes. Or did the bananas you bought lie uneaten at the bottom of the fruit bowl until they were miserably overripe? Perfect for this banana bread! And yes, I’ve gone for trendy spelt flour. But use wheat if you prefer.
spelt banana bread
grated peel of 1 lemon
225 gr plain spelt flour
2 tsps baking powder
pinch of salt
90 gr soft brown sugar
80 gr soft butter
2 tbsp demerara sugar
2 tbsp seeds or chopped nuts of your choice
Mash the bananas with a fork or coarsely grate the apple.
Put the flour, baking powder, salt, butter and soft brown sugar in the bowl of a food processor and process to crumbs.
Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the egg, fruit and lemon peel.
Traditionally this is made in a 1kg loaf tin. This will take an hour or a bit more to bake. If you use a 22 x 27 cm tin, it will be done in about 30 minutes. Either way, pour into the tin, sprinkle with the nuts or seeds and the demerara sugar (the loaf tin gives less surface area so you may not need 2 full tbsps of each). Bake at 180 degrees C until a skewer comes out clean.
Serve with or without butter.