This Banana Bread recipe is easy to follow and delivers a cafe-style loaf that is perfect served warm with a little butter.
It’s from a late 1960s recipe pamphlet issued by the Sydney County Council, a time when home cooks were experimenting with their “modern electric” ovens.
The original recipe for Banana Bread
Do you remember when organisations like councils and appliance companies ran cooking demonstrations and classes?
This pamphlet below contains 10 basic recipes which were demonstrated at Sydney County Council’s showrooms. People could sign up for an 8-week “lecture series” and the message that “good cooks are made, not born” was emphasised.
One of those recipes was Banana Bread, and I found it to be a simply, tasty recipe that contained an ingredient we don’t often see included in recipes today – lemon zest.
The zest wasn’t overpowering at all, but rounds out the flavour nicely.
I’ve tweaked the original recipe slightly, updated the measurements and included step-by-step instructions and tips, so keep scrolling through to the recipe card at the bottom of the past.
The ingredients for this recipe are:
- SR flour
- bicarb soda
- caster sugar
- lemon zest
- mashed bananas.
See the recipe card at the bottom of the post for measurements.
The most important thing about the ingredients is to make sure you use VERY RIPE bananas.
The riper the better!
You can also freeze your overripe bananas and then thaw them out to use in this recipe.
Banana Bread: how to make
You don’t need a mixer to make this recipe, just a loaf tin, mixing bowl and large spoon and a “modern electric” oven.
To start, you grease and line the tin and pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan-forced).
Then sift the SR flour, salt and bi-carb soda into a bowl.
Mix through the sugar and lemon zest.
Mash the bananas well and add them to the mix. Also add the beaten egg and milk.
Stir through to combine the mixture well, but don’t over-mix or beat.
Pour the mixture into the prepared tin.
The mixture is a little more “dry” than cake recipes, so just smooth out the mixture so it’s evenly distributed in the tin.
The baking time is 35 minutes or until the loaf is a lovely golden brown colour.
Do not open the oven door until you’re certain the cake is cooked. Opening the door too early can result in a loaf that dips in the middle
Also resist the temptation to stick a skewer in the cake to see if it’s done – unless you want to risk seeing your loaf sink in a few seconds.
Yes, the trickiest part of the process is the baking.
The best way to gauge whether your loaf is cooked is by looking at the time and the colour of the loaf.
Enjoying and storing your loaf
Allow cake to cool to a warm temperature before slicing a few pieces and enjoying with a little butter.
Allow to cool completely and then wrap in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container at room temperature. It should last a few days.
You can also slice it up, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze in portions. It can then be thawed out and enjoyed for the next few months.
- 24 x 14cm loaf tin
- 1 3/4 cup SR flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 60 grams butter (chopped into cubes)
- 3/4 cup castor sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from approx 1/2 lemon)
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 3/4 mashed banana (from approx 2 medium or 3 small bananas)
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Grease a loaf tin (24 x 14cm) and line with baking paper.
- Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius (fan-forced).
- Sift SR flour, salt and bicarb soda.
- Rub in butter.
- Stir in sugar and lemon rind.
- Add beaten egg, mashed bananas and milk. Stir through to combine well with a large spoon but don't beat.
- Pour mixture into tin and smooth out the top a little.
- Bake for 35 minutes or until a golden brown colour.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack.