I was lucky enough to be sent a hard anodised loaf tin from the kind people at Mermaid cookware. The 1lb tin is made of very strong aluminium, boasting that it is twice as strong as stainless steel.
I had a bread idea which I knew would be a good test for the tin. A banana strawberry swirl bread. I have seen swirl breads about and they all seemed to differ quite wildly. But I wanted a yeast bread, so quite unlike a cakey banana bread.
I used a recipe I found at Taste of Home and adapted this into Banana Strawberry Swirl bread, spreading strawberry jam on the flattened dough, then rolling it up like a swiss roll. The result was a delicious sweet bread, perfect for a snack at any time.
60 ml milk
55 grams butter
55 grams sugar
300 grams plain flour
1 sachet fast acting dry yeast (7grams)
½ tsp salt
2 small bananas, very ripe and mashed
200 grams strawberry jam (store bought)
Adapted from Taste of Home
In a saucepan, melt together the butter, milk and sugar. Take off the heat and allow to cool. In a large bowl mix together 100 grams of the flour, the yeast, salt, egg and banana. Add the milk mixture and mix this until a dough starts to form. Add more flour until you get a consistency that is no longer sticky and easy to handle. Knead on a floured worktop for 5 minutes before placing into an oiled bowl and covering with a tea towel. Leave the bowl in a warm place for 45 minutes, to let the dough prove. After the 45 minutes, the dough will have doubled in size. Place on a floured work surface and shape the dough into an oblong, wide enough to fit into your (oiled and floured) loaf tin. Spread the jam over the top of the dough and carefully roll this up tightly. Now the tricky bit, getting the dough into the prepared loaf tin. Use a couple of spatulas to help if the dough seems like it’s going to tear. Cover the tin with the tea towel and place in the warm place for another 45 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200oC.
After the 45 minutes, place the loaf tin into centre of the oven. Place a baking sheet on the shelf below to catch any jam that may wish to boil over! Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. The loaf will have risen and gone a deep brown colour on top. Allow to cool in tin for 10 minutes before carefully removing it. Place the loaf on a cooling rack, upside down, until completely cool. The loaf won’t have that hollow sound on the bottom when you tap it, don’t worry.
When cooled, cut into slices and enjoy the light banana bread taste that I’m sure you are used to, combined with a delicious swirl of sweet strawberry jam. The bread actually gets better the longer it sits, but remember this is a yeast bread, so it’s shelf life is less than a cake would be. Enjoy!!
As for the Mermaid tin, it performed very well. The loaf was baked evenly. I did worry about the caked on jam but this come off, using a metal scourer, as metal won’t damage the surface. The edges of the pan are a little sharp, so to take care if any little ones are handling the tin. But a great tin to use. Thanks Mermaid!