Banana Bread Muffins or Loaf

Got brown bananas? Muffins are easier to share than slicing a loaf, and they’re also quicker to bake. But if you prefer a traditional (and GF) banana bread loaf, see the footnote.

Makes: 24 muffins, or two 2lb loaves (it’s easily halved if you need less)

 

Ingredients

  • 5 large ripe bananas – the browner, the better
  • 2 unwaxed lemons, grated zest and juice
  • 160g unsalted butter, cubed and softened;
    plus additional cold butter to grease tins if making loaves
  • 200g sugar (soft light brown or golden caster are best)
  • 100g soft dark brown sugar (dark muscavado or molasses sugar are suitable substitutes for a deeper, richer flavour)
  • 4 large eggs (they should total 250g – 270g when weighed in their shells)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 420g gluten-free flour
  • 4 tsp gluten-free baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 100g pecans, chopped finely, leaving aside some larger pieces to garnish (optional)

Kit

  • Two 12-hole muffin tins and 24 muffin cases; or,
    Two 2-pound loaf tins, with baking/parchment paper to fully line each
  • 3 mixing bowls
  • Electric mixer (hand-held or stand), if not creaming butter/sugar by hand
  • Cooling rack

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C  (165 C fan-assisted). Line muffin tins with paper cases (see footnote for loaves).
  2. Slice thickly or break apart the bananas into a medium bowl and add the lemon juice. Mash with a fork or potato masher to the consistency of chunky applesauce.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugars in a large bowl; add eggs one at a time, with the vanilla and lemon zest, and beat until creamy and smooth. (If doing this manually, beat the eggs separately and add some at a time.)
  4. Mix the flour, baking powder, spices, and chopped nuts (if using) with a fork in another bowl. Add a third or so at a time to the butter/sugar mixture, alternating with the banana mixture, and beat well manually after each addition.
    Remember, this is gluten-free, so you don’t have to worry about over-mixing the dry with the wet – in fact, incorporate as much air as you can. (You’ll see holes open up as the lemon reacts with the baking powder.)
  5. Spoon into muffin cases, filling no more than 3/4 full to allow for a good rise. The mixture should ‘dollop’ – i.e., not be runny, but hold its shape as it’s dropped. Place a pecan chunk in the centre of each (optional).
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or so, turning trays halfway through for even baking, until golden brown and a light finger tap on the centre of a few buns springs back quickly. Remove the trays from the oven, remove the muffins from the trays, and place them on a cooling rack to cool.

Nuts
You could use walnuts instead of pecans if you prefer, but this recipe is just fine with no nuts at all (or, used only as a garnish).

Loaves
You could also make two 9″x5″ loaves from this recipe – just grease 2 loaf tins and fully line with paper, and increase the baking time to around 45 minutes. (Remember with GF loaves to let them cool in the tins before turning them out, as GF bread can be a bit delicate when hot.)

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