Banana Bread recipe searches surge.
This is not the first time we’ve sought refuge with a loaf of warm, sweet comfort in a time of crisis.
Banana Bread was first baked during the Great Depression. It makes sense since its ingredients are inexpensive, bananas are easy to find and it’s easy to make. And bananas, unlike most fruits, can be found year ’round. And unlike fruits like apples, overripe bananas and easy to work with because they are already soft. The rest of the ingredients –eggs, flour, sugar–are also inexpensive and easy to find. Then there’s the science behind eating something warm and sweet. A Ph.D named Rachel Herz, author of a book entitled “Why You Eat What You Eat” (WW Norton 2018), writes “Warm banana bread activates the pleasure center in the brain. triggering chemicals that make us feel good. And there’s something else banana bread triggers: memories of growing up and a nostalgic connection to our families now.
Connections to home are a big part of Banana Bread’s appeal. Both my own and those of the author of today’s recipe.
Banana Bread was a familiar part of tea with my Canadian mother. I knew the bread couldn’t have been all that hard to make since my mother viewed time spent in the kitchen as time away from doing absolutely anything else. You name it and she would have rather done it than step foot in her kitchen. But she was also a paragon of thrift so no ripe banana would have gone unused.
|Joanne Chang of Boston’s Flour Bakery and Cafe|
Apparently Joanne Chang’s mother and mine would have gotten along famously. Chef Chang, of Boston’s Flour Bakery, had a mother whose thrift equaled mine’s. She has vivid memories of her mother’s forays to the grocery where she bought overripe bananas for 10 cents a pound. These she would leave out in the kitchen exhorting her family of four to ‘have a banana’ whenever they were in earshot of the kitchen. Now Ms. Chang is well known for her taking American classics and turning them on their heads. And before you get to the recipe for her Banana Bread, look at what else she has created from
Strawberry shortcakes to Fig Newtons and Homemade Oreos.
Joanne Chang’s Banana Bread recipe is packed with everything you want Banana Bread to be.
So it stands to reason that her banana bread would be the best of the best and it really is. And talk about simple! My mother would have glommed onto this recipe in a New York minute. It is packed with banana flavor, dense and filled with toasted walnuts, cinnamon, and vanilla. It took Andrew all of 15 minutes to make the batter. Then into the oven for an hour or so and the house was filled with the delicious smell of this lovely Tea Time or anytime treat. Here and the links, followed by the recipe.
Joanne Chang’s Famous Banana Bread from Flour Bakery and Café in Boston MA.
A banana filled with walnuts, cinnamon and the goodness of ripe bananas.
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup oil
- 3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed
- 2 tablespoons creme fraiche or sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
- Step 1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9- by 5- by 3-inch) metal loaf pan, then dust with flour, knocking out excess.
- Step 2 Sift together 1 2/3 cups flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt into a bowl.
- Step 3 Beat together eggs and sugar in the bowl of electric mixer at medium-high speed until very thick and pale and mixture forms a ribbon when the beater is lifted about 10 minutes.
- Step 4 Reduce speed to low and add oil in a slow stream, mixing, then mix in bananas, crème fraîche, and vanilla. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in flour mixture and walnuts gently but thoroughly.
- Step 5 Pour the batter into the loaf pan, spreading evenly, and bake in middle of oven until golden brown and a wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
- Step 6 Cool loaf in pan on a rack 10 minutes, then turn out onto rack. Turn loaves right side up and cool completely.
- Step 7 Note: Banana bread keeps, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature 2 days or frozen 1 month.