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I absolutely love baking – it’s fun, relaxing, and rewarding. Nothing makes me happier than Taylor coming home to freshly baked goodies and seeing the look on his face! Girlfriend points or what?! I often don’t have the time to bake, but recently, I’ve been making more of an effort to bake some of my favourites. My long time fave recipe is definitely this Tea Bread recipe, which is a recipe my Nan gave me years and years ago. It’s super easy to make, requires very few ingredients and is pretty darn difficult to get wrong. So, whether you’re a newbie baker or experienced baker, you’re unlikely to mess this one up – I can pretty much promise you that this is the easiest tea bread recipe ever!
The full, printer-friendly tea bread recipe is at the end of this post, so feel free to skip forward if you’re just after the recipe, but if you want to see the process, then continue reading …
First of all, obviously, this is a TEA bread recipe – the first thing you need to prepare is the tea! The tea flavour is actually going to come through from the fruit mix (sultanas/raisins or whatever else you fancy!), so a good few hours before you want to bake, you need to prepare your fruit mix. Start off by making a cuppa (minus the milk!) – I use a large mug (my fave Cath Kidston mug, obvs) and I always use two bags to make the tea extra strong. Pour in boiling water, and let the tea bags steep for longer than you normally would (I give them a good 10 minutes). Let the tea cool down – when its cold, pour it into the fruit mix. Mix it up well, so all the sultanas/raisins are covered in the tea. Cover the mixture and pop on the counter or in the fridge.
The fruit mix will swell as the tea soaks into the sultanas. You need to allow a good few hours for this to happen – overnight is even better! The longer they soak for, the more juicy, moist, and ‘tea’ flavoured your final result will be. The fruit mix will taste so yummy soaked in tea, but try to avoid eating them all before they go in the mixture.
When your sultanas have thoroughly soaked, and you’re ready to cook your tea bread, prepare the rest of the ingredients. I always find it easiest to measure everything out into different bowls – more washing up, but quicker and easier to follow the recipe! Make sure you beat the egg well, and really mash the banana up so it’s a gooey, gloopy mess. This is a banana tea bread recipe, if you didn’t know!
When all of your ingredients are ready, combine everything bar the soaked fruit mixture in a large mixing bowl and give it a good stir – it’ll be in between the consistency of a cupcake batter and biscuit dough. When thoroughly mixed, pour in the wet fruit mix and stir well – you want to make sure the fruit is evenly distributed throughout all of the mixture, so you don’t end up with all of the fruit in only parts of the final loaf. If your mix is too runny, you can add a little more flour. Too thick and a dash of milk should do the trick – but only a dash!
Once it is all combined together and ready to go, I usually leave the mixture to sit for 5-10 minutes whilst I prepare the loaf tin. For this, you can use a normal sized loaf tin (or if you don’t have this available then a large roasting tin will do fine, however your final tea bread will be much thinner and your slices therefore wider than they are tall). To prepare the loaf tin you can either grease using butter or margarine, or alternatively you can use baking paper or greaseproof paper – whatever your personal preference. Personally, I grease the loaf tin at first with margarine and then afterwards place the baking paper on top, smoothing into the corners and edges well. I just find that this makes it easier to lift the final loaf out of the tin and also prevents the loaf from sticking.
Once your loaf tin is ready you can then pour the combined mixture into the tin. Use a wooden spoon to evenly distribute the mixture in the loaf tin and ensure there are no uneven areas. If you would like to, you can now sprinkle some sweet brown sugar on top of the loaf. This will give a slightly more crusty and crisp finish and a very slight glazed appearance.
You are now ready to place your prepared and filled loaf tin into the oven for baking! Yay! Pop it in a pre-heated oven at 180 degrees Celsius for an hour, or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Sometimes I do find that this needs 5 to 10 minutes longer – it just depends on your oven to be honest! Whilst waiting for your beautiful tea bread to bake, why not clean up the mess you’ve probably made (and lick the mixing bowl clean?!)
Once removed from the oven, leave to cool slightly in the tin – when partially cooled, lift the loaf out of the tin (or carefully turn out if you haven’t used baking paper). You can then slice and enjoy your freshly baked tea bread whilst it is warm with a good ol’ cuppa. Any leftovers can be enjoyed at room temperature, if kept in an airtight container once fully cooled. It’s definitely more of a cake than a bread… maybe I should call this a tea bread cake recipe?!
So there you have it! That’s my lil recipe (well, my Nan’s – thank you Nanny!). I do hope this wasn’t a family secret!
For the printer friendly version of the recipe, see below:
A beautifully moist, rich, sweet tea bread - perfect for a Sunday with a cuppa! A great way to use up over ripe bananas. The longer the fruit mixture soaks in the tea the stronger the taste, so if you have time to soak overnight, even better! Why not experiment with different tea flavours?!
Prepare the tea by putting two tea bags into a mug and filling the mug with boiling water. Leave to brew for longer than you usually would, then remove tea bags. Leave tea to cool to room temperature.
Put the sultanas, raisins or fruit combination of your choice into a large bowl and pour the cold tea over the fruit. Mix well to ensure even coverage. Leave to soak for as long as possible - over night is ideal, however 2-3 hours will be fine. The longer the fruit soaks, the more moist, juicy and tea tasting the final result will be!
Combine the flour, caster sugar (if using), egg and mashed banana into a large mixing bowl. Mix well.
Once the tea/fruit mixture has soaked, add to mixing bowl with other ingredients. Stir thoroughly to ensure the fruit is evenly distributed throughout the mixture.
Pour into a well greased or baking paper lined loaf tin.
Sprinkle with sweet brown sugar if wanted
Bake for 1 hour at 180C or until knife comes out clean. Sometimes needs 5-10 minutes longer.
Leave to cool slightly in the tin, then remove from tin. Can be sliced and enjoyed whilst warm or leave to cool!