Baking: Banana Raisin Bread

“The beautiful thing about learning is that nobody can take it away from you.” - B.B.King.

Learning is such an enriching experience. It never stops. The more you learn, the more you want to learn. I truly believe that it’s never too late to learn something new. What matters most is passion and an open mind!

Until a year ago, I was a part of the corporate world. Rather, it was a part of me. For almost 10 years. I was in a job that paid me enough to pay my bills and satisfy my retail therapy needs once in a while. It all seemed like one happy story with great opportunities to travel, meet new people and to do all the things that come along with it.

But there was something burning inside me all these years. A voice in me which reminded me every now and then that I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I was born to do something entirely different. It took me many years of deliberation to finally make up my mind and take the plunge. I decided that I wasn’t going to do what doesn’t give me true happiness. It wasn’t a single-handed decision. I have my family to thank – For being there and giving me the opportunity to dream and explore my interests.

Through the birth of this blog, I embarked on a journey of self-discovery. This became a platform for me to explore my love for food, photography, writing and travel. It has become a place for meeting other like-minded people who share the same passion. Be inspired. Learn from others, share knowledge and hopefully, inspire someone along the way. After all, everyone needs a little inspiration, a gentle push from time to time. It always feels inspiring to see or know others who have been in a similar situation and have dared to dream, the once impossible dream. They have achieved it. With the right attitude, so will you!

That’s just a little bit more about me.. Thank you for reading!:)

On the topic of learning, I must tell you that I am no avid baker. I am learning as I go along and would love to bake more and innovate in the near future. Perhaps, one day, I will. I am inspired by so many bloggers around me who bake some really interesting and beautiful cakes and cookies! I first tried baking a loaf when I saw this really interesting recipe of a Rosemary Walnut Loaf by Kankana of Sunshine and Smile.

After my first attempt with a simple walnut loaf, I got a little more confident to attempt a request from my husband – a raisin bread. The two men in my house love it! I, on the other hand, stay far from it. Well, most of the time :) But, I love cooking for them! My go to book for baking is this book by Nigella Lawson. The Banana Bread recipe from Nigella has a good amount of raisins in it and that made it the perfect contender. As luck would have it, I also had some bananas that were very ripe and needed to be consumed immediately. And off I started baking, on a relaxing Sunday evening!

As the book says, this is a perfect recipe for anyone who is new to baking. The result was fabulous and loved by family and friends! The banana bread had a beautiful texture. It was moist and full of flavor at the same time. The alcohol in the raisin evaporates in the cooking and baking process. You will find a taste of rum but it isn’t alcoholic at all. In fact, in her book, Nigella says that this is safe for children to consume as the alcohol doesn’t pervade into the cake.

If you are anything like me in terms of baking, you should really try this recipe. It’s simple enough and totally worth the effort :)

Banana Raisin Bread:
For a printer-friendly version of the recipe, please click here.

Serves: about 10 slices

Ingredients:

Golden raisins: ½ cup
Dark rum: 6 tbsp
All-purpose flour: 1 cup + 2 tbsp
Baking powder: 2 tsp
Baking soda: ½ tsp
Salt: ½ tsp
Unsalted Butter: ½ cup
Sugar: ½ cup
Eggs: 2 big
Bananas: 4 Dole (small) very ripe and mashed
Walnuts: 1/4 heaped cup
Vanilla extract: 1 tsp
Loaf Pan: 9 x 5” lined with a paper insert or parchment paper

How I did it:

  1. In a pan, bring the raisins and rum to boil. Turn off and leave it for 1 hour to soak up the liquid. Strain the excess liquid.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 170 deg C.
  3. In a bowl, put the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Sieve through once to ensure they are combined well.
  4. Warm up the butter enough to get it melting. Don’t overheat.
  5. Add the butter and sugar to a large steel mixing bowl. Beat this mixture well until it is thoroughly blended. The color will turn pale. I did this using an electric beater for about 15 mins. The time will vary, depending on the equipment used.
  6. Break the eggs and beat it in the sugar+butter mixing bowl above – one by one.
  7. Now beat in the mashed bananas.
  8. Using a wooden spoon, combine the raisins, walnuts and the vanilla extract.
  9. Next, add the flour mixture in 1/3rd portions, combining it well after every addition.
  10. Now pour this mixture into the prepared loaf pan.
  11. Place the loaf pan in the centre of the oven, with both heat sources on. I placed the loaf pan closer to the top heat source.
  12. Bake for 1 hour. The original recipe says it should take anywhere between 1 hour to 1 hour 15 mins. It depends on your oven. Mine took exactly 1 hour. It is advisable to check at the 50 min mark. If it is done, an inserted toothpick will come out clean.
  13. As soon as it is done, using your mittens, place the loaf pan out to cool. Do not take out the banana bread out of the pan until it has cooled down.
  14. Once cool, cut into slices and enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea, as you prefer.

Notes:

  1. Use eggs that are at room temperature and not straight out of the fridge.
  2. Same goes for butter, keep the butter out to come down to room temperature a couple of hours before baking.
  3. Place the loaf in the middle level, though, closer to the top heat source than the bottom heat source.
  4. The original recipe says that even though it rum is used, it is safe for kids to consume as the alcohol doesn’t pervade through.
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food and thoughts...
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41 Responses to Baking: Banana Raisin Bread

  1. Learning is also freedom from the unknown. Blogging is really a lot more than just ‘blogging’, isn’t it? I keep saying to my husband who is the reason why I’m here that I have finally found my corner in the world. I am so glad you feel the same.
    The pictures are stunning. I love dark backgrounds and I think isn’t tricky to photograph them properly. The loaf is also calling me.

  2. Nandita says:

    Just loved this bread. The presentation and photography is superb :)

  3. I love banana bread. Great clicks.

  4. That is a such a delicious looking/sounding take on banana bread – one of my favourite types of cake. Delicious!

  5. Rosa Mayland says:

    Delicious! I love banana bread and always smother my slices with butter…

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  6. Amber says:

    What a fantastic banana bread! So many delicious flavours! Love the added walnuts for some crunch!

  7. Kanan says:

    beautiful pictures.. Banana bread looks divine

  8. Very beautiful dishware; it compliments the bread beautifully. Looks moist and delicious!

  9. Nisha says:

    Love the pictures dear!

    I’ve only made banana muffins so far, haven’t tried bread. While waiting for fresh bananas to ripen, my bananas get tooooo ripe and ugly. I’m too wasteful. Tried freezing once, but after thawing the banana smelled so ewww. Guess I should have frozen without peeling it. Ah, learning really never stops :)

    • hehe I normally just leave them at room temp. but they spoil really fast. The good thing is this recipe calls for almost mushy / over ripe bananas.. so it can put those bananas to good use :)

  10. Tanvi says:

    I agree..the moment we stop learning from each other,its the end of our growth as a person. Loved how you expressed your experience.
    We are BIG fans of banana & baked goodies with it…infact my husband prefers it over choco even. Love the recipe..m gonna try this one when I make a loaf next time.

  11. Gorgeous photos! I love a good banana bread.

  12. I just read ur post on my phone and trust me I hate typing on my phone but I had to say that u have written a beautiful post..
    There r so many people who don’t get the blessing to enjoy life doing what they really like or for that matter atleast trying it.. We r blessed that we can do it… And yes life is a journey where each day we all can learn something new all we need is little passion..
    B/W I am loving the bread… N getting really hungry at midnight:)

    • Thank you Reem. So happy that you liked this post.. I agree. Not everyone is lucky enough to try or even figure out what they really want to do. I’ve been in that state long enough and really understand it.. With passion, anything can be achieved. There’s no hurdle that can’t be overcome.

  13. Tina says:

    Fabulous photos and banana bread looks tempting.

  14. Kankana says:

    I can absolutely relate to this post. The corporate job life and now this blog where I earn nothing but the satisfaction is price less! Thanks for the mention sweetie and this banana bread reallt sounds lovely. My fav fruit is banana :)

  15. Nami | Just One Cookbook says:

    I enjoyed your post and it was very inspiring! I can relate to your “self discovery” experience as until I started blogging I didn’t really have anything particular that I enjoy fully. It’s wonderful that I’m surrounded by those who experience the same/similar things. Your banana bread looks so good! I have been trying many recipes and I’d love to try yours next.

  16. Sanjeeta KK says:

    Why do I feel I am reading my own story..I too worked for corporate world before taking a plunge into following what interested me more.And now I am loving every bit of learning and exploring areas each day from bloggers like you.
    Love the color and texture of the loaf…banana being my weakness, need to bake one for me soon.
    Thanks for your wishes.

  17. dassana says:

    blogging is a great platform to learn so many things… from cooking, baking to photography. the best part is the learning never ends. i was also working in a corporate job few years ago and i am so glad that i left my job.

    i liked your pics. i have the same cream tumbler that you have used in the pics. banana bread is a fav at home with everybody. i also make it often with raisins.

  18. Hey first time here and I feel I am reading something thats about just me, I also worked for 10plus years in the highly demanding corporate job role and by choice took a break from that maddness, a tough call though but I am also thankful to my family for supporting me take such a call and here I am into this beautiful world of blogging and I am doing something that I never even dreamt of then…
    Learning is an ongoing process and I love to learn cook and share :)
    Happy to know you…this bread looks so moist n rich :)

  19. I just had to come over and peek at what you’ve been cooking!! Your photos always call to me when I’m hungry… :D And they never disappoint. Ok, I’m like you when it comes to baking except that I’ve never been successful even in baking a banana bread. Somehow, the middle part remains soggy and the outer crust is burnt. Maybe I shouldn’t make it so thick. Will try again and report back. Glad to hear you’re doing what you truly enjoy. I’ll be back! Sharon

  20. Sihi says:

    What a beautiful post and recipe! Love the pics.
    Best,
    Sihi

  21. Tadka Pasta says:

    I don’t like bananas, but I’d eat that bread :) Looks gorgeous!

  22. shree says:

    I followed your recipe and it turned out yummmmy. Just that P ate all of it :P

  23. Bread and no yeast?? You mean i tortured my oven for nothing?
    okay i am going to try this *determined face*

  24. justcruisey says:

    Hi, I am studying your blog for my new adventure into (Sailing/Travel) blogging. Studying but not yet doing. Absolutely love your content and layout and will definitely try out the Banana Bread.
    Cheers from Oz

  25. Dewi says:

    Absolutely love the look of this, will have to try and make it to enjoy with a lovely coffee, yum!

  26. dithy846 says:

    je suis très intéressée par la recette de ce pain !! merci pour le partage

  27. Prateeksha says:

    Wow I love the recipe as well as the presentation. Will try this soon.

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