The Making of Banana Bread by a TOP NOTCH baker…


Wow~ just look at that picture! I know, you just can’t believe how amazing it looks- mmmm, so tantalizing to the taste buds, the aroma of burnt banana is lingering in your kitchen, and you just can’t wait to wash that glass loaf pan!

ERRT. Rewind. Let just see how exactly this happened…..

I needed to use some really ripe bananas. Sounds natural.
I decide to try a new recipe since I don’t plan on needing this bread for any neighborhood dinners or such. SOUNDS SENSIBLE.
So which cookbook do I grab? YES! The 1750-1850 Pioneer Recipes! I have not had any failures yet from this book and have been absolutely delighted over the results and funny terminology used in it, so yes, I am ready for a new adventure.

Here goes! I always tell myself to try a recipe EXACTLY to the letter the first time I make it unless there is a VERY obvious typo before thinking I need to change something. So I look over the recipe and decide that the cooking time is too short for a recipe with so much liquid and sugar, it says “30 mins at 325F”. Most bakers can tell that is not going to work. Anyways, so beyond that I think it looks like a pretty good recipe for a sweet banana bread.

As I start mixing the ingredients I notice that the bowl is over 2/3 full, at least 4 cups of batter…. and my mind starts reeling at the fact that the recipe says “makes 2 small loaves or one medium cake”. And I wonder if the small loaves in my day are mini loaves from this woman’s day…. or maybe the “medium” cake is like a regular cake in our day…. but against all my instincts, I pour all of the batter into a large 8.5x4x4 glass loaf pan and proceed to cook at 325F. I am worried from the start since I know that if I cook something with baking soda AND baking powder at such a low temperature, it has the ability to rise too long and may overflow… and I was really smart and added 1/2 chocolate chips which I KNOW will react with the baking soda adding even MORE air bubbles to my mix….

I watch intently for the first 15 minutes and sure enough, it looks as if it might overflow. And it does! WOW! After all the thoughts and training and….and…. well. In the end, I took about a cup of batter out of the pan and put it into another small pan, put a pan underneath the loaf pan and crank the temp to 350F. It cooked for about 50 minutes. I pull it out and my kids look at it with horror wondering what happened, then I scrape it out and we proceed to eat it…. It has an amazing texture! So dense and VERY sweet. Almost like a cake…. it lasted 2 hours at best on the counter. Successful recipe? I’d say about 75%!

Verdict? I am going to make it AGAIN. This time, I will put it in a 9×13 pan at 350F for 40 minutes. And serve it with Caramel Ice Creammmmmm.