Banana and honey bread

Chef: Jamie Oliver
Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Banana and honey bread
Best served still warm with lots of butter and a glass of milk for breakfast

1 x basic bread recipe:
1kg strong bread flour
30g fresh yeast or 3 x 7g sachets dried yeast
2 tablespoons sugar

1 levl tablespoon fine sea salt

Extra flour for dusting
6 bananas
8 tablespoons good, runny honey
optional: 1 handful of almonds, cracked or chopped

Peel your bananas then purée them in a liquidizer or food processor. The mix will be surprisingly wet.

Pour it into a measuring jug, then top up with water until you have 625ml.

Pile the flour on to a clean surface and make a large well in the centre. Pour half your water/banana mixture into the well, then add your yeast, sugar and salt and stir with a fork.

Also add half the honey with the nuts to the dough at this point.

Slowly, but confidently, bring in the flour from the inside of the well. (You don't want to break the walls of the well, or the water will go everywhere.) Continue to bring the flour in to the centre until you get a stodgy, porridgey consistency – then add the remaining water. Continue to mix until it's stodgy again, then you can be more aggressive, bringing in all the flour, making the mix less sticky. Flour your hands and pat and push the dough together with all the remaining flour. (Certain flours need a little more or less water, so feel free to adjust.)

This is where you get stuck in. With a bit of elbow grease, simply push, fold, slap and roll the dough around, over and over, for 4 or 5 minutes until you have a silky and elastic dough.

Flour the top of your dough. Put it in a bowl, cover with clingfilm, and allow it to prove for about half an hour until doubled in size – ideally in a warm, moist, draught-free place. This will improve the flavour and texture of your dough and it's always exciting to know that the yeast has kicked into action.

Once the dough has doubled in size, knock the air out for 30 seconds by bashing it and squashing it. You can now shape it into 10 balls and put them next to each other in a flour-dusted baking tin where they will prove together for a second time for 30 minutes to an hour until they have doubled in size once more.

This is the most important part, as the second prove will give it the air that finally ends up being cooked into your bread, giving you the really light, soft texture that we all love in fresh bread. So remember – don't fiddle with it, just let it do its thing.

Before putting in the oven drizzle generously with the rest of the honey so that the top of the bread will caramelize, going nice and golden.

Bake in your preheated oven at 180ºC/375ºF/gas 5 for 35 minutes.

Allow to cool for a little while.

Serves
4

Preparation Time
60 minutes

Cooking Time
30 minutes

Main ingredients
Flour, Fruit

Recipe Type
Bread, Side Dish, Snacks

Special Info
Egg free, Vegetarian, Pregnant Mums, Dairy free

Level of Difficulty
Medium

Also fantastic used in bread and butter pudding or simply heated up with a bit of ice cream.

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