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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

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When I was at University it was the time of the Poll Tax, an unpopular tax made even more unpopular by being implemented in Scotland a year before the rest of the UK - 'Thatcher's guinea pigs'.⁠⠀
It was a time of demonstration and violence with 50,000 marching in Glasgow, 1 million Scots refusing to pay. ⁠⠀
It was a time Sheriff's Officers and poind sales of possessions. ⁠⠀
Coalition student groups were formed - Socialist and Feminist and Anarchist and so on - there were big meetings in the Union, debates about a name and a logo and a manifesto. I remember lots of young, middle class, white men talked at length.  I remember that very, very little got done - a bus was organised to take students to Glasgow for the protests. ⁠⠀
In the meantime, up the hill from the campus, three women (I thought of them as old at the time but I'm sure they were the age I am now) simply stood outside the auctions and asked nobody to attend.  They stood by the front doors, they explained their reasons, they prevailed.  They possibly looked randomly menacing in that way middle aged women can.⁠⠀
People calmly bought back their possessions for 50p and their debts were squared. Action, meaningful results, a recognition that the personal is political - all while the student groups still debated their slogans.⁠⠀
I've been thinking about those women a lot recently. If they were the age I think they were, they will be queuing up for their vaccines this month.
In my happy place.⁠⠀
In the winter months The Studio is the centre of my working life. ⁠⠀
This was yesterday.  Trimming pieces of vintage velvet fabric for the Studio Club shop; alpaca socks drying in the dispatch room behind me (we now have size 8-10 in stock too); a roll @scottishlinen seconds to experiment with hogging the cutting table.⁠⠀
Bright and light and inspiring.
Starting the week with a photo from last year (simply because I lost a lot of this weekend to fatigue, so didn't take a new photo.)⁠⠀
Budgie, my beautiful and psychotic cat, with a windowsill of white amaryllis. ⁠⠀
Worth a second outing.
The proposed airstream conversion is in for planning permission approval at the moment, so that we change change its use from (neglected) artist's workshop into beautiful holiday accommodation.⁠⠀
In my vision for this we get to use the paid holidaymaking element to subsidise some artist's residencies - painters, writers, musicians, makers coming here to soak up the landscape and be inspired.⁠⠀
At the moment though I'm still at the stage of answering environmental health questions about quite how loud I am in my Studio and how we will light the path to the compost loo.
Yesterday my elder daughter, who lives in London, messaged me to say that our local DPD driver Slav was being given an award by for his outstanding service. 

It was because of the hundreds of messages that they had been sent commenting on his helpfulness, incredible good cheer, and parcel based problem solving.⁠⠀

Slav has been an important part of my lockdown life here. ⁠⠀
When roads look like this, good delivery drivers are a vital (and hopefully appreciated) part of life.⁠⠀
As my younger daughter chimed in “Go Slav!
This photo is from last week - but I see through the gloom that it has snowed overnight .⁠⠀
This part of the garden is outside our bedroom, the beech hedge borders the road, it used to be a drive when our bedroom was a garage.⁠⠀
Now it has a birch tree (symbolic for me of my miscarried babies, as I had to leave their actual birch trees behind when we moved here) surrounded by lots of box grown from small plants and cuttings.⁠⠀
We buried Jasmine, my scruffy miniature schnauzer, here in the summer, so in some ways it is becoming a garden for sitting on the bench and remembering and watching the birds.  I shall ask my ever generous  friend Nadja for some snowdrops to plant in the grass.⁠⠀
In my mind, eventually, the box balls will become like the ones on the front of @arnemaynardgardendesign book Garden Design Details - but this year they remain unclipped. ⁠⠀
I suspect box blight in the back garden and @jekkamcvicar points out that unclipped box does not get blight.⁠⠀
I love old gates - particularly old gates that stand in the middle of old unused spaces, leading to nowhere, keeping nothing in.⁠⠀
A memory of another time.
Last year - while I was dyeing socks out on my Studio deck, I was also dyeing wool yarn. ⁠⠀
Wool dyed with docks and nettle, gorse and meadowsweet, onions and plum bark all from the garden and lane.⁠⠀
Over the winter I gathered the wool skeins together - all the soft bright colours - and knitted myself an oversized stripy jumper. ⁠⠀
@rhiannonconnelly described it as wearing 'a hug from my garden' and I think she was spot on. ⁠⠀
The pattern is the 'After the Rain' sweater by @heidikdesigns but with random stripes as I wasn't sure how much of each colour I had. #aftertherainsweater

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