Anyone who's been reading Freshly Ground for a while will know that I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with that curious breed known as the Celebrity Chef. And by love-hate, I don't mean that I love to hate them, or even that I hate them at all. Most the time, I am inspired by their dedication to good food and nutrition and taste, and sometimes it's just that they are such a world beyond what I will ever be as a cook that it bugs me.
So, in order to give the Olivers and Ramsays of the world a fair go, I've also made an effort to document my humble attempts to replicate their luscious-looking dishes in my own small kitchen.
My last try was not terribly successful - there must have been something in the Italian air that I was missing. (Either that, or, as the Alligator said, I just didn't follow the recipe, so it was my own darned fault).
This next one, however, hit the mark perfectly. To be fair, I've made this before, and it worked back then too, so I came into the process with anticipation rather than foreboding, which may have helped.
But how hard could making bread with the banana and the honey built-in be?
Another Jamie Oliver recipe, this one is from his second book, Happy Days with the Naked Chef, and is a real winner. Especially if you have bananas that look like this stinking up your fruitbowl:
The key difference between Oliver's recipe and my interpretation of it is that I'm lazy: mine just goes straight into the breadmaker to do all the hard work.
Jamie Oliver's Banana and Honey Bread
500g Strong Flour (Hi-Grade)
2T Breadmaker Yeast
3 Ripe Bananas, Pureed (see picture above)
4 T Honey, either runny or melted until it's runny
Dump all the ingredients, reserving half the honey, into the breadmaker pan. Turn onto a dough cycle.
I'm just going to pop this photo in here gratuitously, because I like it.
When the cycle is done, turn the dough out onto a floured bench and gently shape. With a long knife, cut the dough into six roughly equal sized pieces. Then, if you like, you can score them into fancy shapes. Place in an oiled baking tray and put into a warm, dry place for one hour to rise.
Drizzle over the remaining honey and place into the oven at 200C, for 18-20 minutes.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool - but not too much.
With a bit of butter, you won't find these last long enough to get cold.
So Jamie, this one's a 5-Star winner. That's just Pukka.