Thursday, 30 June 2011

Banana Tea Loaf

Every wondered what to do with slightly manky banana's, the very spotty soft ones. Not one to waste food I have a number of recipes that I use to make the best use of these sweet fragrant goodies. This one is called a tea loaf even though it doesn't contain any tea. Its also pretty healthy too !


  • 200g self raising wholemeal flour
  • Salt / baking powder pinch
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • 75g soft brown sugar
  • 3 mashed bananas
  • 75g polyunsaturated margarine melted ( use microwave)
  • 100g raisins or chopped dates or other dried fruit 2 Eggs- lightly beaten


Place all ingredients except dried fruit in mixer or food processor, mix well until smooth and then add dried fruit. Pour into a lined and oiled 2lb loaf tin. Bake in a pre heated oven @ 160C for 1-1 1/4 hours, until cooked through when tested with a skewer. Cool on a wire rack

Delicious if left for a couple of days to mature in foil, could serve buttered or with cream cheese but that would not be as healthy !

Enjoy !

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Daily Bread !

I love fresh artisan bread, I would dearly love to have enough time every day to make fresh bread. Instead I make do with buying good bread when I see it or making my own. At last weekend's Food show , I got chatting to a representative from Clitheroe Food Festival , she recommended the "Michel Roux" Sandwich bread loaf recipe as a quick and easy recipe. So hear goes.


  • 20g/1oz golden syrup
  • 25g/1oz melted butter
  • 350ml/14fl oz warm milk
  • 10g/½oz yeast
  • 250g/8oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 250g/8oz strong bread flour
  • 10g/½oz sea salt


Stir the golden syrup and melted butter into the warm milk until well combined. Stir the yeast into the warm milk , until dissolved.

Add the remaining ingredients and mix until a smooth dough forms. I used my mixer to knead the dough or you could do this manually until dough is smooth and elastic.

Return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film and place into a warm place for 1 hour, or until the dough has nearly doubled in size

Meanwhile, grease and flour a 12cm x 20cm/5in x 8in bread tin.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface again and knock back a few times. Divide equally into two pieces and shape into balls. Place the dough balls side by side in the prepared bread tin, cover with cling film and set aside to rise again, until doubled in size.

Preheat the oven to 220C/410F/Gas 7.

Using a sharp knife, slash the dough a few times and place into the oven immediately. After 10 minutes, reduce the heat to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and bake for a further 30 minutes, or until the bread is golden-brown. To check if the bread is done, remove from the tin and tap the bottom with your knuckles – it should sound hollow.

Leave the loaf to cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Nigel Howarth's Fantastic Food Show

Just arrived back from "Nigel Howarth's fantastic food show, which has been held for the last two days @ Ewood Park, home of Blackburn Rovers Football club. This is the second year for this foodie event and its getting better year on year, still needs a bit of assistance on the organisation front, but the featured food needs no help at all, its wonderful already. The vast majority of the local food was great, fabulous cheeses and meats and loads of local producers.

Of special note are More Artisan bakery, who had a wonderful array of stone baked breads , sourdoughs, foccacia's and rye breads. The bread looks and taste's stunning, this is real bread with holes and a proper crust, not the pap that's normally sold around here.

I was also pleased to spot a locally produced Cider from Lancashire apples, Ribble Valley Gold is produced using locally grown apples by Dove Syke Cider company, naturally we had to sample some and very pleasant it was too.

Lots of samples of cheese's, sausages, wine, gingerbread and the like were on offer , plus we saw our Slow Food Friends too. A great day out was completed by a lunch of Pork and Black pudding pie from Dales Butchers.

Looking forward to Clitheroe Food Festival on 13th August 2011, see you there.

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