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Easy Vegan Banana Loaf

If you are new to cooking and on a tight budget (who isn’t?) then Jack Monroe’s book ‘A Girl Called Jack’ is THE recipe book!

I’ve always thought that good food recipes had to be complicated, with loads and loads of ingredients and utensils/equipment that only the experts would have.

That was until I found Jack’s book!

It’s not a Vegan book by any means, but it does have recipes that are vegan and the one’s with meat you can substitute to make it vegan.

One of my favorite recipes is this beautifully easy Banana Loaf recipe, it’s only got a few ingredients (which I like ALOT) and it’s blinkin tasty!

AND I can guarantee it will come out like this!

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So you fancy making it for yourself?

Here you go then – you won’t regret it!

What you’ll need: 

3 large bananas (over-ripe is the best!)
75 g oil (I used sunflower)
50 g sugar
225 g self-raising flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

What you’ll need to do:

Preheat oven to 180°C, and lightly grease a loaf tin.

Next peel your banana’s and mash them in a bowl. I kept mine a little lumpy just cos I could!  Next add the oil and sugar to the banana’s and stir.  Next add the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and stir well.

Once that’s done pour it all into the loaf tin and bake for approximately 30-45 minutes (depending if you have a fan over or not – mine is, so it cooks a lot quicker).  Just make sure you cover if the top starts to darken too much, before the inside had been cooked – do the usual test by putting in a knife to test if it’s come out clean or not.

Once done, leave it to cool for 5 mins and then pop it onto a cooling rack to cool down completely (not before you sneak a little bit, cos if your’e like me you can’t wait to try it!)

Keep it in a cool dry place, covered and it’ll last a week! (If you don’t gobble it all down before then that is!)

Note: This beautiful loaf will be available to buy as soon as my online bakery is open (hopefully early August) – check out my Facebook Page here for updates 🙂

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Bread baking with semolina!

Nothing beats watching your own crops grow….

If you’ve been following me for a while you’ll know that I’ve got an allotment plot.   I’ve wanted to grow my own vegetables and live off the land for  a wee while now, and it looks like it’s working out. Not only am I growing veg at the allotment, I’m also growing more varied veg in my own back yard!

Excuse the washing and the dog!

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I’m growing crops such as chick peas, soya beans, courgettes, peppers and so much more.  I wanted to grow food that I’d actually eat, and being a vegan these kinds of crops will go down very nicely!

So what’s this got to do with bread?

Not much to be fair.  Other than the fact that I want to live more by my own hand, via the land and using up food that I’d never normally have used, until now.   I mean, to live well you’ve got to make do with what you’ve got right?  And since I had a few bags of semolina, I did the old google thang and hey-presto I’ve got Semolina bread!

Since starting this journey I’ve cooked things I’d never thought I’d every cook/create.  I mean, making my own soya milk was brilliant in itself but to create my own beautiful loaf would be even better – in my eyes anyway!

I’ve got this dream.  I want to live completely free of supermarkets, money (well a lot less), live off the land whilst looking after animals who might otherwise have gone to their death for the meat industry.   It’s a dream that I intend to fulfill one day, so whilst I’m working towards that I’m learning to make food from scratch from what I have.  I even want to grow my own wheat – but that’s another story!

So here’s my very first loaf of semolina bread – what do you think?

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I am absolutely proud of it to be fair and what’s more it’s really easy to make and ever so light!

So do you fancy making your own with your fair hand?  

Good – let’s do it then!

What you’ll need:

284 ml water, lukewarm
1 /14 teaspoons of active dry yeast
210 g semolina
1/2 tablespoon of salt
140 g white bread flour
Olive oil for while the bread rises

What you’ll need to do (bear with me, it may seem a lot but really it is easy!):

Start by adding your water and yeast to a large mixing bowl. Stir this together and let it sit for a few minutes until the yeast dissolves completely.  Then add your salt and semolina flour to the mix. I did it by hand, just because I wanted to do it for real 🙂

When you stir in your semolina flour, it’ll look like scrambled eggs.  Next, add about 140 g of bread flour to the dough and stir it until it forms a rough ball. If it’s really dry, add a bit more water and if it’s really sticky then sprinkle on some more flour.

Roll this out onto a lightly floured surface. It should be pretty firm at this point.

Let the semolina relax and absorb some of the water before working with it. So, let the dough rest for about 5-10 minutes before trying to knead it. It makes it a lot easier to work with – believe me :).

Then knead this dough for about 10 minutes until it’s very elastic and really smooth and soft. If the dough gets sticky at any point, sprinkle with more flour.  Then after a few minutes though you should have a very smooth dough ball.

Add this to a large bowl and coat it well with olive oil. Cover it with a towel and let it rise until it triples in size it will probably take a few hours (about 3 approx)

After the 3 hours, take the dough out of the bowl, punch it down, knead it for another minute or so, then return it to the bowl and drizzle it with more olive oil. Let it rise a second time until it doubles in size. It’ll rise a lot faster the second time. It’ll probably take only 45 minutes to an hour to get there.

Making the loaf

I decided to give it a rustic look. So I punched down the dough and then rolled it into a rectangle.  I then folded one site over 2/3rds of the way over. Then i did the same the other side and tucked in both ends to make my loaf shape.   I then scored it across the top with a sharp knife to make it look a bit more authentic.

Now preheat your oven to about 250 degree’s and lay your loaf onto a baking sheet. It will rise again so give it about 30 minutes.  Then slide your loaf into the oven leaving it at temp 200 (fan assisted oven) and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and hollow when you hit it.

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Safe to say you’ll love this loaf, it’s ever so nice and brilliant toasted or used to dip into soup!

Enjoy creating your own food.

 

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Big thanks to Macheesmo.com for their fab recipe

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French Toast with a Banana & Cinnamon twist!

Call me a ‘French Toast Virgin’ but I’ve never had the stuff, not even in my carnivore days (I’ll explain that one to you some day).

So why now?

As per usual we’d had a stack load of banana’s from our latest, Real Junk Food Portsmouth collection/interception at The Fruit Basket in Stubbington (a little village not far from me).   Most week’s we get shed loads, and Banana Bread (albeit scrummy) does get a bit boring after the third slice or two…..

So, in my limited capacity as a new vegan; I wanted to use up the banana’s in my breakfast rather than in ‘just another cake’.  So I Googled it, saw a few idea’s and rather than copy completely I took a snippets of ideas from a great blog by the name of Fettle Vegan – just on this very theme!

So here it is – looks good right?

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If so check the recipe below – and let me know what you think – or if you’ve made any additions or changes!

French Toast with a Banana & Cinnamon Twist!

Ingredients (you’ll deffo need)

3 ripe banana’s (very ripe in my case – they taste better that way)
177 ml of soya milk (or any vegan milk – I reckon almond would be even better!)
1 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp of vanilla essence
4-6 slices of vegan bread

Additions:

A squeeze of lemon juice
A sprinkle of chopped almonds (flakes I used)
A drizzle of maple syrup (yep used that again!)

What you’ll need to do:

Mash the banana’s (peeling them first of course!), pour in the soya milk and the vanilla essence and mix all together.  Then dip and cover both sides of the bread, whilst you grease up a non-stick pan or griddle heating it gently.   Once dipped and fully covered place on the pan and let it cook each side for about 5 minutes, until the edges stop bubbling and both sides are golden brown.  It’s up to you how much you cook, I left mine a little bit soggy (truth be told) as I quite like the bread and butter feel to the dish – but if you like it crispy then go for it!

Once done on both sides, drizzle with the flaked almond and the maple syrup!

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did – I’m off to make a little batch now – it’s 8.30pm and I’m feeling it again after writing this!

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