Seasonally inspired things to Make, Learn & Do.


Sourdough banana bread saved us from the snow

sourdough banana loaf recipe

Sourdough banana bread first came into my life last month - on the magnificent cake counter of Fernandez and Wells cafe at Somerset House in London - and it has been a constant since.

I recently began baking sourdough bread, but try to restrict making it to the weekends.

I have a problem with being in the same house as a good loaf of sourdough and would happily eat a loaf to myself every day of the week.

This has meant that I often have some extra starter around and I hate the idea of pouring it away. My youngest daughter loves baking so, when we were snowed in last week, I set her the job of perfecting the sourdough banana loaf.

I used to think that I was sensitive to wheat and that it was responsible for bloating and cramping - however, like many people, I have discovered that I can eat things made with sourdough starter without any symptoms (as long as I don't eat the whole loaf).

This basic recipe is an adaptation of one on the Simple Life by Kels website which you can check out for comparison here (It is also better if you are looking for US measurements)

Sourdough Banana Bread.


2 ripe/over ripe bananas

275g sourdough starter

110 g soft butter

160 g sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

125g plain flour

65g spelt flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

150 g chopped chocolate.


Heat oven to 350g.

Grease a 1 lb loaf pan or use a greaseproof liner.

Mash bananas.

Cream together the sugar and soft butter then add in the bananas.

Slowly add the sourdough starter - keep mixing, it may look gloopy to begin with, but will eventually mix smoothly - a whisk may help.

Add in the flour, baking powder and salt and mix well.

Finally stir in the chocolate chips .

Pour into loaf tin and bake for 1 hour. Put a baking sheet underneath the loaf tin, just in case the mixture overflows (baking with sourdough starter is slightly more unpredictable than other baking)

The loaf is ready when a metal skewer put into the middle of the top comes out clean.

Leave to cool and enjoy.

Variations of this banana bread kept us going right through the week we were snowed in.

Katie also tried glace cherries and walnuts instead of the chocolate and, though the spelt flour was originally a substitution demanded by being short of plain flour and able to get out to go to the shops, it gave a really soft nutty taste so I have kept it in the recipe.

If you enjoyed this you might enjoy reading about how I started baking sourdough bread

Tags: recipe

Comments: 0 (Add)

Snapdragon social

Between the plum trees and the studio is a sloping space that was created when we flattened a patch of land to build. It is a mix of subsoil, rocks and odd seams of rich pasture land. ⠀
As grass began to grow there about 7 years ago,  I sowed a perennial meadow mix, I planted lots of random plants from the cutting beds, I worked without a plan, without knowing what would thrive and what would gently vanish. ⠀
Now there is minimal gardening involvement - I try and keep the nettles from taking over, we dig out brambles - and in the autumn and winter I lure the chickens there to scratch out patches of bare soil for the wildflower seeds. ⠀
It’s a patchy space, caught on the cusp of abandonment - but it is the most beautiful space in the garden, buzzing with insects, rustling with birds. ⠀
Low light, bright petals, setting sun. ⠀
A couple of days ago I got a message from a friend asking what I thought about all the 'picking wild flowers' photos on here and the fact that a country style magazine was promoting it as a
My Gran had hangers like these.  Knitted from odds and ends of wool, hanging softly squashed together in the big dark wardrobe in her bedroom.⁠⠀
My cousin and I would take the fancy silky 1960s dresses from them and transform ourselves into glamorous detectives, spying on passers-by from behind the net curtains, making notes.⁠⠀
Now the hangers are my favourite things to make from wool scraps - each takes 37 grams of wool and you only need to be able to do a plain stitch to make it. ⁠⠀
As well as being chock full of nostalgia for me, they are also the most practical kind of hanger, as the garter stitch keeps even the flimsiest of straps in place so clothes don’t end up on the floor.
This week's business improvement was deciding to make the postcards that go in with orders more useful, getting Kate Stockwell to turn them into activity cards for me. ⁠⠀
This is the first, going out with orders from today.⁠⠀
I’m always amazed at how many plants from sunnier climes take to the garden. ⠀
Sicilian honey garlic - Nectaroscordum siculum - is one of the plants that grow in rows in the orchard - ghosts of the flower field, buzzing with bees, happy in grass, a strong whiff of onion as I pass. ⠀
This month I’ve been experimenting with solar dyeing- using plants and sunlight and a jar to dye wool on the windowsill. 
I was amazed at what bright shades were possible and at how easy and self contained it turned out to be. 
It was part of the Studio Membership mini “Introduction to plant dyes” course but I’ve also put together a kit in the shop with full instructions and everything you need to get started with solar dyeing wool (there are mini skeins in the kit). The photo is my drying rack on the dye deck - part of the studio where I used to prep flowers when I sold them. 
The wood rack used to be for shoes and wellies.
Inspired by @josephinepbrooks I’m still using this time for some serious decluttering of my business - looking hard at which parts have descended over the years into one of those drawers stuffed full of things.  Which bits are muddled, useless, impossible to open without everything falling out. 
Last week was the turn of the blog - so many out of date things, so many broken links, pretty much impossible to browse. 
Now it’s been sorted out - David and @fuzzyjill at Fuzzy Lime helped me divide it into sections and now it’s all easily accessible from the navigation bar.

So if you are looking for tutorials, nature notes, gardening, recipes or musings on life you can find them without scrolling through hundreds of pages. 
And - as always seems to happen when you  declutter - I’m suddenly full of ideas for things to write about, so that I can fit them nicely into my new space! 
The poppies are from Friday’s blog about how they make wonderful cut flowers.
Another week. Another new morning 
I was chatting to a friend yesterday about what was the best thing about running my own business - and I decided that it was probably being excited about each day and all the things I want to do. ⠀
That I now rarely need to force myself. ⠀

Today it’s finishing off this week’s Studio Members lesson about solar dyeing and putting together these activity postcards which I am getting printed to go out with orders. ⠀
What are you looking forward to doing today?

About Snapdragon

At Snapdragon we gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

Through our communities, both free and paid for, through Jane's writing on the blog, through carefully hand crafted gifts and activity kits, and through our online and in-person workshops we aim to bring people back in touch with the rhythms of a seasonal life.

Learn more about why here