No, it’s not me in an LBD with a diamond necklace. More likely a flour-smudged apron with a tea towel on my shoulder.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, even though I don’t eat it. Why? Well, it’s the meal we serve our guests so for us it’s an opportunity to interact with people, give them food and drink, and hopefully send them on their way feeling satisfied and looked after.
We agonised for months over what to serve our guests…we had long discussions about Full Englishes vs. raw smoothies, working from what we regarded as two extreme positions to a compromise centre ground.
We eventually decided on a mixture of cereals, always with fresh fruit, toast using artisan bread, and something freshly baked from scratch by myself: scones, healthy muffins and so on.
This has worked very well so far, we have been complimented on the taste and appearance of our breakfasts.
My banana and walnut loaf has been a great success, so I’m going to share the recipe here. It’s a classic recipe which I’ve tweaked slightly, it’s easy to make and just as good at afternoon tea as at breakfast – assuming it lasts that long.
Banana and Walnut Breakfast Loaf
125g (4oz) butter
180g (6oz) caster sugar
Pinch of salt
4 medium bananas – ideally nice and ripe.
250g (8oz) plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
125g (4oz) walnuts roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to Gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C.
Butter a 1kg (2lb) loaf tin and line with baking parchment.
Mash the bananas with a fork.
Cream the butter and sugar until smooth and light and then whisk in the mashed bananas.
Add the egg, milk, and a pinch of salt and mix well. Sieve the flour and baking powder and beat until smooth. Spoon the mixture into the tin and bake for about 50 minutes to one hour. Check it’s done by piercing with a knife or a skewer, it should come out clean. Cool in the tin, and then turn out onto a cooling rack.
Slice and serve with fresh butter.
From the Stony River to the Sky