Beard’s Banana Bread

October 28, 2006

In college, I worked in a bartending agency. On one job, I met another bartender in the agency, and we discovered that we both enjoyed baking. He recommended a cookbook: Beard on Bread, a small book by “the dean of American cooks.”

Since then, I have baked many of the breads in the book, but I return again and again to one of Beard’s recipes for banana bread. It’s made with honey, a flavor that complements the banana in a superb way. Like all sweet quick breads, this one is better after being wrapped up in plastic wrap for a couple of days. Some people like to toast their banana bread and spread it with peanut butter. This is good, but I like mine plain, or with some butter.

Saturday mornings in fall are a great time to make quick breads. Then the bread is around for breakfasts and snacks through the early part of the work week. Since this is Arizona, we have just recently opened the windows after the long, hot summer. So this morning as the bread baked, I swept the patio, which has windows off the kitchen. The scent of the bread was strong and caramel-ly, even outside. Here’s the recipe (I normally leave out the nuts, because not everyone around here likes nuts in the bread):

Banana Nut Bread
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup honey
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3)
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sliced nuts, almonds (optional)

Cream the butter with a wooden spoon (I use my stand mixer). Add the sugar and honey and beat till creamy and light. Add the eggs, one at a time, then thoroughly mix in the bananas. Sift together the flour, soda, and salt and blend thoroughly into the mixture. Finally fold in the nuts. (Aside: it’s always better to add nuts after you combine wet and dry ingredients. This way you don’t get clumps of dry flour stuck in the ridges of the nuts.)
Butter a loaf pan and pour in the batter. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven 1 hour, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.


2 Responses to “Beard’s Banana Bread”

  1. Sounds really good. I will try it sometime. I still love to bake but don’t do it much anymore.

  2. Brett Says:

    That’s too bad that you don’t bake much these days. I remember very fondly all the different kind of bars you used to make!

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