Peter Gordon's banana French toast recipe is full of the flavourful twists and turns you'd expect from the chef, with a classic pairing of sweet and salty from the banana and bacon intertwining with a chilli labne and tamarind caramel. You won't need all of the delicious spiced banana bread for this recipe, but you can store excess for up to 2 months in the freezer, or keep in the fridge for 5-7 days.
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To make the banana bread, whisk the milk, sugar and yeast together in a large mixing bowl and leave to ferment for 15 minutes, until bubbly
1 1/4 tsp dried yeast
300ml of milk, tepid
2 tbsp of Demerara sugar
Whisk in the spices and eggs until smooth, then mix in the banana chunks. Sieve the flour and salt into another large bowl, then stir in the banana mixture until incorporated. Line a 2-3 litre loaf tin with baking paper and pour in the bread mix. Place the tin on a baking tray and leave to prove in a warm area until it has increased in size by 50% - this should take 1-1/2 hours
300g of banana, peeled weight, cut into chunks
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp salt, fine
1 tbsp of coriander seeds, toasted and ground
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
600g of strong bread flour
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
Place in the oven and cook for 8 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 170°C/gas mark 3.5 and cook for a further 20-25 minutes. To check if the banana bread is cooked, insert a wooden skewer - it should come out clean
Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out and allowing to cool completely. The banana bread is best made 2 days before serving so it can firm up a little. Store in the fridge until required
To make the chilli labne, mix together all of the ingredients and place into a strainer lined with cheese cloth or a tea towel. Leave in the fridge over an empty container to strain for 24 hours. The result will be a thick yoghurt spread, or labne. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until required
500g of plain yoghurt, thick
1 tsp flaky sea salt
1 red chilli, finely chopped with seeds
1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
To make the tamarind caramel, add the sugar and star anise to a pan and cook over a moderate heat until dark brown and caramelised (190-200˚C). Meanwhile, bring the coconut cream to a simmer. When the sugar has caramelised, whisk in the hot coconut cream and simmer until all of the lumps have dissolved
300g of caster sugar
1 star anise
150g of coconut cream
Remove from the heat, discard the star anise and whisk in the tamarind. Set aside until needed
200g of tamarind paste
Place the bacon on an oven tray and cook under a hot grill on both sides until golden and crispy
smoked streaky bacon
To prepare the French toast, cut the banana bread into 4 1.5cm thick slices. Whisk together the eggs and cream and dredge the bread through the mix to coat evenly. Heat a knob of butter and a dash of oil in a frying pan and cook the bread until golden all over. Repeat with the remaining slices
150g of double cream
Warm the caramel lightly in the microwave or a saucepan. Add the grilled bacon and a good dollop of the chilli labne to the banana bread and drizzle over the caramel before serving
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