I am sure, like me, you have seen lots of social media posts of people showing what they have been baking in the past few weeks. People are making breads, cakes and biscuits (cookies) during this period of lockdown for many of us around the world. It seems to me, and do correct me if I am wrong, that the three most popular things are sourdough bread, bread of any sort and banana bread (and so many people made hot cross buns this year too!). Baking, and cooking in general has become an obsession, partly for something to do and partly because, I believe, food is a comfort in these troubling times. Plus, what is nicer than to fill the house with the smell of baking?
Whilst I have yet to make bread, I have made two loaves of banana bread (which is all the more interesting since none of us in this house particularly likes bananas, but we all like banana bread). They were both quite different, so our bubble* did not get bored. The first one I made was the one from that Kiwi classic, the Edmonds cookbook. A nice simple recipe, it produces a moist, light loaf cake that is lovely just warm. I used brown sugar and added the last of a bag of chocolate chips to it too. Side note – Australian and New Zealand cups are not exactly the same as US cups, but proportions are similar. Conversion to grammes can be found here).
For loaf number two I turned to The Pandemic Cookbook. This collection of recipes has been put together by sixteen local businesses in Wellington to raise funds in this time of lockdown. You can download this for a suggested donation of NZ$10 or more should you so wish. The featured banana, date and walnut loaf (I made it without the walnuts….I didn’t have any) is an adaptation of an Ottolenghi recipe, and was rich, moist and full of flavour and a definite ‘make again’. If you want to try it, download the book and support the hospitality industry in Wellington.
Both loaves were excellent with a cup of tea in the middle of the afternoon, just when you need a little pick up. Check out Felicity Cloake’s recipe too in The Guardian, which also has a little bit of history about banana bread. Do you put walnuts in your banana bread? Or do you prefer chocolate chips? Have you made banana bread in the past three weeks, or whenever your lockdown started? Have you made sour dough or other bread?
*the term used in New Zealand for a household or group who are in lockdown together.
Whatever you bake, wash your hands and stay safe in your bubble.
You can find Thistles and Kiwis on Facebook, and also on Instagram@thistleandkiwis. As for Twitter….am totally inactive these days. If you want to get in touch, email me on firstname.lastname@example.org