1 cup pitted dates
1 cup boiling water
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 large ripe bananas (500g), peeled
2 cups self-raising flour
1/2 cup plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
125g unsalted butter, melted
Butter, to serve (optional)
Grease and line a large, straight-sided loaf pan (11.5cm x 20cm x 9cm deep) with baking paper.
2. Place dates in a medium heatproof bowl. Cover with boiling water. Stand for 10 minutes. Stir in soda.
3. Place date mixture and bananas in a food processor. Process until combined. Add flours, sugar, eggs and butter. Process until smooth. Pour into prepared pan.
4. Cook in a moderate oven (180C) for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of bread comes out clean. Cover with foil towards end of cooking if ever over-browning.
5. Remove from oven. Stand bread in pan for 15 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack.
6. Serve warm or cold, cut into slices with butter.