Don’t monkey with it

Posted by Anita on 02.19.07 6:06 PM

banana bread (c)2007 AECEvery cook has those recipes that she considers so perfect that she won’t even entertain the idea of trying another variation. In our house, for example, there is no meatloaf but our meatloaf. I’m so set in my ways that not only will I not try new meatloaf recipes, I rarely even order meatloaf at restaurants.

So when, during a long-overdue freezer cleanout, Mom and I discovered a stash of bananas, and then another stash, we knew it was time for another of those “don’t bother with another recipe” recipes: Banana bread.

Now, with all modesty, I’m not the only one who loves this stuff. It’s a recipe so wonderful that it was printed — albeit with some non-fatal editorial alterations — by Cooking Light many years ago, and apparently remains a reader favorite. (I cringed in anticipation when I clicked on the reader comments link, and was amazed to see that everyone likes this recipe as much as we do. Whew!)

Here’s my introduction from the original issue:

My mom, Toni, has been making this banana bread for what seems like forever. We’re nuts about all kinds of bread, and this is a family favorite — even the dog loves it. While it may seem odd not to add spices, the pure banana flavor is what makes it so delicious.

You can find the tinkered-with version on Cooking Light’s site, but here’s the original, which isn’t really much higher in fat:

Toni’s Banana Bread
1-3/4 cups flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1-1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 medium super-ripe bananas (about 1 cup)
scant 2/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F, and butter an 8×4 loaf pan (or two 7×3 pans for tea-size loaves).
Whisk dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl, and set aside.

Put the remaining ingredients (except optional nuts) in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the banana puree over the dry ingredients, and fold lightly — adding nuts, if using – with a rubber spatula, just until combined; do not overmix.

Pour batter into the buttered loaf pan. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, but do not overbake. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

baking, family, magazines, recipes



Comment by Jessica

Could you please post the meatloaf recipe? I’m craving it…

Posted on 02.19.07 at 6:27PM

Comment by Anita

It’s really unorthodox, but I’ll dig up a copy and email you. And, for everyone else, I’ll post about it soon — it’s one of the recipes we have in rotation during the remodel.

Posted on 02.19.07 at 6:31PM

Comment by Verena

I just love banana and bread, what a great combination you have here! The picture looks so tasty, my mouth is waterfull!
Question: if I don´t have cream tartar, can I use something else instead?
I am a food lover and blogger from Brasil and just loved your blog!
Congratulations on your marriage!

Posted on 02.26.07 at 10:43AM

Comment by Anita

Hi Verena…

I don’t think there’s any substitute for Cream of Tartar. It’s also known as Tartaric Acid — not sure if that’s more common where you are. Basically, it helps the baking soda rise properly, so if you leave it out, all that will happen is you will have a more-dense cake.

Here’s a page with info:

If you have baking powder, it sounds like you could use:

2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda

…instead of…

3/4 tsp. baking soda
1-1/4 tsp. cream of tartar

…presuming my math is correct, which is always a sketchy proposition!

I think you could also substitute full-fat yoghurt for some of the oil to get the required acidity.

Good luck — and let us know how it comes out!

Posted on 02.26.07 at 1:48PM

Comment by Karen

I discovered your recipe 11 years ago in a Cooking Light magazine. I had just got married and was building my recipe collection. Actually it’s a 3 ring binder full of recipes I cut out of magazines. Yes, it was before the popularity of blogs and honestly, the internet. Wow. Anyway, it’s the only banana bread that my family (now with 3 kids and a dog) will eat. We all think it’s the best and shhh….my kids think it’s “Mommy’s” Banana Bread. Our dog loves it too. Thanks and it’s wild that after all of these years, I found your blog today. :)

Posted on 05.03.11 at 8:32AM

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