The Best And Easiest Banana Bread Recipe By A Singaporean Pastry Chef
As we continue to ride out the coronavirus pandemic in the safety of our homes, many home cooks are thinking of creatively delicious ways to keep themselves occupied, when they're not busy perfecting the art of making Dalgona coffee or trying out its the many flavours it can now be enjoyed with, and sharing pretty shots of their artful creations on Instagram.
Speaking of the social media trends, the go-to easy fix for novice and seasoned bakers these days is the simple banana bread, and home bakers can't seem to get enough of it.
Marina Bay Sands' pastry chef Antonio Benites, who trained under the likes of the late Joël Robuchon, believes the popularity of this humble treat is quite simply due to how uncomplicated the recipe is. "Banana bread is simple to make, and all the ingredients needed are accessible at the markets at an affordable price." In fact, he admits that he enjoys baking and enjoying banana bread at home, too. "It has a unique flavour that makes it a comforting treat to enjoy—even on its own," he adds, noting the following recipe is a great option if you're looking to practice your baking fundamentals.
If you want to spice it up a little, Benites suggests pairing it with your favourite fruit jams to add some sweetness and tang. Better yet, add a generous layer of chocolate spread because, as the chef puts it, "chocolate and bananas are known to be a timeless perfect match".
BENITES' BANANA BREAD
Pastry chef Antonio Benites' recipe is a simplified version that uses any variety of bananas you can find at the market, as long as they're 70 per cent ripe. Here, the bananas are coated with brown sugar and chilled overnight to enhance their fragrance.
Serves 8 to 10 pax
Baked bananas (to be prepared a day earlier)
500g fresh bananas
80g brown sugar
525g bread flour
60g wholemeal flour
2g instant dry yeast
60g banana puree (fresh banana, chopped)
1. Slice fresh banana into 1cm slices and mix with brown sugar.
2. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 8 minutes.
3. Let it cool and keep in chiller for next day use.
1. Strain the baked banana prepared a day earlier, keeping the juice. Keep aside.
2. Mix all ingredients except salt and butter in a mixer. Mix it at slow speed for 4 minutes, and then at fast speed for 3 minutes.
3. Add salt, butter, and the juice from the strained baked banana. Mix for another 4 minutes.
4. Add baked banana, and mix well at slow speed.
5. Scale into 550g of round doughs, and let it rest for 90 minutes.
6. Shape the dough to your desired shape, and let it proof at room temperature for 60 minutes.
7. Bake at 240°C with steam for 24 minutes.