Thursday, October 03, 2013

Extreme kitchen DIY: Banana Flour.

If after yesterday’s post you are greatly intrigued by the idea of banana flour, but do not have a wonderful sister in Far North Queensland to send you a supply, I have the solution for you, thanks to The Central Queensland Herald (Rockhampton, Qld.) of March 19, 1942.

 “Sweet Briar” sends this recipe for banana flour: Peel and place bananas in a slightly warm oven. Keep the oven at an even temperature until bananas are perfectly free from moisture, when they should be rubbed or crushed to a fine powder. To make the flour, add two tablespoons of banana powder to every cup of flour, also add half a teaspoon each of cream of tartar and carbonate of soda. Sift three times when it should be ready for use. It must be kept in airtight tins otherwise it will become damp.

Now you have your banana flour, you can consider making real banana bread – which is not to be confused with the banana bread that is actually a cake.

Banana Bread.
Banana flour consists almost entirely of carbohydrates, and differs from wheat flour in not containing gluten. It is, in consequence, not suitable by itself for making bread, as it will not rise, but if mixed with wheat flour in the proportion of one of banana flour to three of wheat flour it is said to make a close-textured loaf, resembling ordinary brown bread, with a decided banana flavour.
Northern Star (Lismore, NSW) September 30, 1925

And as a bonus, here are the instructions for some very rich fritters made with rice and currants – and of course, banana flour – from the Sunday Times (Sydney, NSW) on 16 August 1908.

We have pleasure in reprinting, for the benefit of our readers, the following recipe for Currant Fritters, which gained the “Gentlewoman” prize in a recent cookery competition.
Original Recipe for Currant Fritters.
Ingredients: Twelve ounces of currants, six fresh eggs, two ounces of rice, one ounce of banana flour, two ounces of castor sugar, two table-spoonfuls of double cream, grated rind of a lemon, nutmeg, salt, half a pint of milk, four ounces of butter for frying.

Method: Wash and dry the currants and set them on a large plate in the coolest part of the oven. Wash and drain the rice, blanch it by boiling for five minutes in water, drain again, pour the milk over it, and simmer until the rice is tender and the milk absorbed into it. Turn the rice into a bowl and sift over it the sugar and banana flour: add half a teaspoonful of salt, the grated rind of a lemon, and a generous grating of nutmeg, and mix thoroughly. Break the eggs one at a time, separate yolks from whites, pour the yolks over the contents of the bowl, and beat very thoroughly until a smooth light batter is obtained. Next stir in the cream and add the warmed currants. Whisk the whites of eggs until perfectly stiff and add this froth to the other ingredients. Beat together for a few minutes, then proceed to fry in boiling butter, allowing two tablespoonfuls of batter to each fritter. Brown on both sides, drain on kitchen paper, fold each fritter into half, arrange them daintily on a d’oyley-covered dish, sprinkle with sifted castor sugar, and serve with cut lemon.

1 comment:

A. True said...

i know that the specific cultivar of banana has changed over the years - particularly in the 1950s when the previously primary banana cultivar became vulnerable to disease. Do you think that the current Cavendish banana is the best option for making banana flour, or would a plantain be better?