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I really, really shouldn't

The other day it occurred to me that I’ve hardly said a peep about the book. Seeing as I spend every day in its (nascent) company, it seems like a funny oversight. It hasn’t been intentional, I swear. We’re just slowly feeling our way, this little book and I. Sometimes I feel so absorbed in it, tweaking recipes and jotting down stories, that it’s hard to know where to start.

To tell you the truth, it was a little disorienting at first to be at home at midday, without the reassuring constraints of a time sheet or colleagues. But it would be awfully rich to mope, I soon realized, about any situation that allows me to stay in my bathrobe until noon. (On occasion, you know, only on occasion.) Most days, I hover between the couch and the kitchen counter, writing or cooking or researching something, and then writing some more. In the past week, I’ve written essays about roasted tomatoes and eggs. I developed a soup and a pasta dish and tested each twice, as well as a cake, which will soon undergo its fourth – and sweet lord, please let it be final – session of test-and-tweak. The other night, our friend Sam came for dinner. Watching me swirl a pan of caramel, he asked teasingly if I’d worked up any sort of plan, exercise-wise, to combat the ill effects of recipe testing and tasting. Sure, I said. The plan is to keep a pack of hungry friends nipping at my heels at all times, and to have plenty of loud, raucous dinner parties. I feel good about the plan.

So far, things are going pretty well, although I did eat the better part of a loaf of banana bread last weekend. What’s worse is that it wasn’t even for the book.

The book will have a banana bread, of course – no work of mine will be without a banana baked something – but Banana Bread Week is long over. It was two weeks ago, not last weekend. It’s done. I was after an improved version of this old favorite, a banana bread with chocolate and crystallized ginger. So I read; I compared; and I baked some loaves. Then I called our friends Olaiya and John, and one night, we held a taste-off. A winner was declared, and the recipe has since moved firmly into the hands of a few kind souls who have offered their services as recipe testers. All told, this means that I should no longer be baking banana bread. Where bananas are concerned, I should strap on a pair of blinders, like those horses that pull carriages in Central Park. I should not do what I did last Friday, which was to bake another one.

I think my belly is exerting some sort of force field for banana bread. Recipes come to me, entirely without my trying. For example, when Brandon and I were in Portland for Valentine’s Day, we stopped into Powell’s – after Pearl Bakery, of course – and came away with a lovely (on sale!) book called HomeBaking, by that food-writing duo of dreams, Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid. Between its covers lie about a million recipes, all sorts of savories and sweet things, loaves and cakes and buns galore. But the recipe that caught my eye was – oh Molly, you are predictable – a banana bread with coconut and a splash of dark rum.

I made it last Friday, cursing myself the whole way. And the long and short of it is this: it’s delicious. I thank my lucky force field. Aside from my own little heartthrob of a recipe – which is, anyway, a wholly different animal from this one – it’s my new standby.

I was initially skeptical. As you will note, this recipe has no eggs, which struck me as odd. But I decided not to second-guess: it might not work, I figured, but that might be for the best. But work it did, and brilliantly, hooo boy, baking up into a pretty little loaf with a moist, compact crumb. As banana breads go, this one is more bread-like and less cakey than some, and that works wondrously to its advantage. It’s subtle – not rich or cloying – and its soft, sturdy crumb gets a bit of toothsome interest from a handful of shredded coconut. This last also lends a faint, nutty flavor that, along with the aforementioned rum, makes for a very complex, sophisticated sweet. Even the crust is special, with a crunchy, nubbly top that crackles with demerara sugar. If banana bread, as a general category, is the ultimate in Americana, this particular loaf sits at the edge of the map, on one of those exotic tropical territories where rum is de rigueur. I think you’ll agree that right about now, that sounds like very good place to be.

But the best part is that a slice or two, along with a cup of tea, makes for one heck of a breakfast. That means there’s good reason to bake another loaf – we have to eat breakfast, people! – even though, by all accounts, I really, really shouldn’t.

Banana-Coconut Bread
Adapted from HomeBaking: The Artful Mix of Flour and Tradition around the World, by Jeffrey Alford and Naomi Duguid

I have one word for you: demerara. This bread is lovely in its own right, but it owes a good deal of its charm to this very special sugar. Demerara has large, golden grains that sparkle in the light, and sprinkled on top of this banana-moistened batter, it yields a crisp, sweetly craggy crust that steals the show - and that stays crunchy on the second day, even! You can buy demerara sugar online from any number of sources, or look for it in your local gourmet store. I found mine at an upscale market nearby, and I think Whole Foods also carries it. Either way, buy it. If you’re anything like me, you’ll want to sprinkle it all over the place.

About 3 large, overripe bananas
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1/8 tsp distilled white vinegar
1 ½ Tbsp. dark rum
½ cup dried shredded unsweetened coconut
1 Tbsp. demerara or dark brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a standard-size loaf pan.

In a blender or food processor, purée the bananas. Measure out 1 ½ cups of purée. [If you have more than that, try stirring the excess into some plain yogurt. It’s delicious.] Set the purée aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer), beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vinegar and rum, and beat to mix well. Add the banana purée and the flour mixture alternately, about 1 cup at a time, beginning with the banana and beating to just incorporate. Use a spatula to fold in any flour that has not been absorbed, and stir in the coconut. Do not overmix.

Scrape the batter – it will be thick – into the prepared pan. Smooth the top, and sprinkle evenly with the demerara sugar. Bake for 50-65 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes; then turn the loaf out of the pan and allow it to cool completely.

This loaf will keep, sealed airtight, for three to four days, although it is best, I think, on the second day.

Note: You can use frozen bananas here too, and with beautiful results. Whenever I have overripe bananas sitting on my counter, I throw them – skin and all – into the freezer for safekeeping. When I want to bake with them, I pull them out a few hours before, put them in a wide, shallow bowl, and let them thaw. When they have softened fully, I tear open the skin and let the soft, slippery flesh spill out. Be sure to save any juices that come out with it; they’re very flavorful and can be puréed along with the flesh.

Yield: 1 loaf


Blogger Melindy said...

Oh Molly! you were in my home town! Portland ah Portland. I would be very sad to have to leave Portland, not that its my birth-home, but its my home now.

And Banana bread- no eggs- hmmm- must try. Alsofig cookies- have you ever made any? Any hints?

6:54 PM, February 26, 2007  
Blogger Kathleen said...

This coconut banana bread sounds delightful. I might add a little more rum and some grated lime zest... Cuba Libre fan that I am.

I have long quested for the perfect Banana Bread--the basic sort with only walnuts as an addition. For a while I proclaimed an Epicurious.com recipe to be "the best" (but it does require lots of eggs and time and dishes), but more recently believe that Cook's Illustrated has the best (melted butter and yogurt being key).

But, I think I'm concluding that my quest is infinitely more fun than my destination, and so I will happily keep buying cheap, overripe bananas from the confused (non-banana-bread-eating) vendors at the Bazaar in Skopje and bake away!

Thanks for such an awesome and absorbing food blog. Love it!

1:30 AM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger Gemma said...

Despite my hatred of even slightly squishy bananas I love love love banana bread and this sounds fab. I also put my overripe bananas in the freezer and it works a treat. I am jealously imagining your working from home existence which is my current favourite fantasy - oh well, one day...

1:51 AM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger lobstersquad said...

I´m making quite a lot of banana bread lately. This sounds way more sophisticated than my usual, I´ll try it.

5:30 AM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger Susan said...

Imagine what it will feel like when you have a piece of this cake while flipping through your cookbook. I'm so happy for you.

5:31 AM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger hannah said...

oh but we are so glad you did. so glad...

6:22 AM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger wheresmymind said...

I really believe I'm the type of guy that working at home would be really rough.

6:25 AM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger youarenotthebossofme said...

The bannana bread sounds wonderful! i'll try it tonight!
and as long and someone else asked about a personal favorite- i was wondering if you ever had made a steamed pudding? i started making them to have a showoff desert while camping and now i am adicted! My new NON-STICK mold came yesterday and i can't wait to try it out! any tips?

6:26 AM, February 27, 2007  
Anonymous Luisa said...

Demerara! Indeed, I'm bewitched as well. The crunch, the sparkle, the name. And I keep wondering how to use up my big box of it... That HomeBaking book is sooo lovely, I could just stare at all the pictures all day long. While eating banana coconut bread. ;)

7:26 AM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger amisha said...

mmm... delicious serendipity... i have 3 overripe bananas in my fruit bowl at hope. this morning as i left the house with the last one still good to eat straight-up, i thought, banana bread tonight! and this one it shall be.
thank you also for stopping by my blog and your sweet words about brunch :)

7:40 AM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger K8 said...

how difficult it must be to cook and write and cook, all day. i am teeming with jealousy! you deserve it, though, so I am only jealous for your situation.
this banana bread sounds delicious. breads that go well with tea are one of my staples. go ahead, make another. why shouldn't you? breakfast is necessary, and banana bread has fruit in it... it's good for you!

8:10 AM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger Tori said...

Molly did you get a chance to make it up to Elephants while you were in town? It's just up Burnside from Powells.

8:23 AM, February 27, 2007  
Anonymous Brandon said...

What a lovely, spare photo.

8:52 AM, February 27, 2007  
Anonymous Meryl said...

Molly - I just love your blog. I can not wait to read your book - I know I won't be able to put it down until I've tried every recipe!

9:26 AM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger Scorpio said...

Actually, my local grocery has demerara sugar. I was tempted to buy some, but I am on a diet that doesn't have sugar as one of the things I'm eating :(

Sometimes life isn't fair.

1:47 PM, February 27, 2007  
Anonymous Dana said...

I've had this recipe dog-eared for a while -- and have a bunch of bananas in my freezer just waiting for me to give the recipe a try :). But all I have is sweetened coconut in my cupboard. How sweet was this? If I used sweetened, should I cut down on the sugar significantly, or just a bit?

1:56 PM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh, Molly, isn't the food section at Powell's just wonderful? It distills me, I think, into a happy, wide-eyed, generally incoherent stupor. My (not so) little brother lives in Portland, and during a summer visit last year, I picked up a comb-bound gem called Snack-time Symphony: Quick, Easy, Time-Tested TV Tidbits, Party Treats, Patio Picnics, Buffet Lunches & Dessert Delights, put out by the Golden Opportunity 4-H Club of Vona, Colorado. I was a total goner at "Standing Room Only Tomato Surprise" ... and all those aisles! It was a stunning Portland summer afternoon, nothing but sun and blue, and I couldn't leave the store. (p.s. I think I'll try the ginger/choc banana bread for potluck tonight, mmm.)

2:07 PM, February 27, 2007  
Anonymous The Wine Makers Wife said...

i really enjoy your blog and wish you well on your up comming book! Someday you must dish to us all how it came into existance.

2:08 PM, February 27, 2007  
Anonymous sashachoi said...

I'm such a dork that I can't wait to PREORDER your book!

2:40 PM, February 27, 2007  
Anonymous heather said...

Oh Molly, Molly, Molly. Good GOLLY Miss Molly. I can not wait until your cookbook comes out. I will be first in line to order it! I just got home from work, had a little piece of salmon in the fridge that I poured a bit of some fancy lemon olive oil (a gift)over, For the sides, I printed out a couple of recipe ideas rom your blog...the simple chick pea/parmesan salad and the bagnette. I threw the fish in the oven, made the two sides (the bagnette I used a nice sauvgnon blanc vinegar...also a gift), and in under 20 minutes we sat down to the most delicious but simple dinner. THANK YOU.

2:47 PM, February 27, 2007  
Anonymous elle said...

I love making banana bread cause we always have rotten bananas around. This one sounds interesting. Looking forward to your cookbook!

3:40 PM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

Melindy, I LOVE Portland. It was soggy and cold when we were there, but still, I just love all those little neighborhoods! You're a lucky lady. But as for fig cookies, I'm sorry to report that I can't be of much help. I've never tried making them. Did you have your eye on a particular recipe?

Thank you, kathleen! And I hear you on banana bread - although I am definitely one of those types who loves having one, perfect, go-to recipe, in this case, the quest is so much fun that it's hard to stop! Must. Keep. Trying!

Gemma, I can't lie: working from home is pretty nice. It was a fantasy of mine for a long, long time. I have to admit, though, that it's harder than I had anticipated! Even though I like being alone and work well at home, it is isolating. And there's no 9-5 schedule, which means that I often find myself working well into the night and on weekends. But it's my work, though - no one else's - and that is a feeling that can't be beat. I feel very lucky.

Lobstersquad, while we're on the topic of bananas, I see that for Oscar night, you made that banana cream pie recipe that recently ran in the New York Times. How was it? Do tell. I was intrigued by that recipe too.

Thank you, Susan! I can hardly imagine how that will feel...

I aim to please, dear Hannah! xo

wheresmymind, I think some people are cut out for it, and others aren't. And I think I fall somewhere in the middle! Some days are great and productive and creative and terrific, and others, well, sort of. I've only been at it for a month, though, so we'll see how I feel in a few more.

youarenotthebossofme, you know, I haven't ever made (or eaten!) a steamed pudding. I should rectify that soon, don't you think?

Luisa, I know! Don't you just want to sprinkle that stuff all over the place? I'll bet it would be wonderful on top of a muffin - a banana muffin, or bran, perhaps? - or zucchini bread, or ginger cookies, or oatmeal cookies, or sugar cookies. I think we both have more baking to do...

You're most certainly welcome, Amisha. Your blog is lovely!

k8, I like your way of thinking. I'll go turn on the oven right now...

Tori, I'm sorry to report that I didn't get a chance to pop into Elephants Deli. We were only in Portland for about 24 hours - too little time, if you ask me! But on our next visit, we'll be sure to stop by.

Thanks so much, Brandon.

Aww, Meryl, that makes me so happy! Thank you.

Scorpio, that is SO not fair. When does this diet end, hmm?

Dana, as banana breads and cakes go, this one is not terribly sweet. I think you could safely use sweetened coconut, and I would only cut back the sugar a little bit.

Lisa, you sound like me and Brandon! I tried to break free of the cooking section and head over to the literature room, but I didn't last long. We wound up with a copy of Nigel Slater's Toast, a 1948 edition of Vogue's Book of Etiquette ($10, all yellowed and old school, too pretty to pass up!), and HomeBaking, of course. Heaven!

Thank you, Wine Makers Wife!

sashachoi, you're not a dork! Or if you are, you're the best kind of dork I know. I hope you're patient, though - you won't be able to preorder for a while yet. Hang in there!

Thank you, heather! I love the sound of your dinner, and it tickles me to know that I helped make it happen!

Elle, this one is really delicious. Very subtle and sophisticated the first day, and flat-out delicious the second.

6:14 PM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger SF Money Musings said...

I can't wait to make this bread! Your recipes are just amazing ... I drool over all of the archived recipes. I wish the book was out sooner!

The lemon cookies baked better the second time around. I sliced them with a different knife and they came out much better looking! No ugly blobs of cookies! I baked 10 cookies and had them with tea!

Can you do some more soup recipes? I loved the potato soup you posted. I made it last week and it was just wonderful to come home and scoop some into a bowl for dinner.

I'm so envious that you get to cook, write and eat during the day. Keep up the great work!

7:26 PM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger Catherine said...

gosh...vinegar..in banana bread? probably a dumb question, but that seems a little weird? what does it do for the bread?

8:12 PM, February 27, 2007  
Blogger shari said...

hi! first let me just say that i think it's so delightful that you are at home working on a book. i'm beyond thrilled for you. loved this post. you had me smiling with your "heartthrob of a recipe" description. this new banana bread sounds like a great treat. i will make it soon. thank you for bringing so many wonderful recipes into my kitchen. hugs! shari

8:37 PM, February 27, 2007  
Anonymous Five Flowers (Emily) said...

I have only been reading your site for 6 months or so, but I just want to say I am so so so so glad you are writing a cookbook- that is the kind of book the food scene needs-- are you using your photos too? Because those are damn good too! Thank you for the banana bread- I'll try it soon!

9:26 PM, February 27, 2007  
Anonymous kayenne said...

The vinegar content substituted for the need to add eggs in the recipe. The chemical reaction between the acid and the baking soda provided the extra leavening action that the egg normally provides.

I'm wondering though, does this recipe yield a dense cake, considering the relatively small amount of vinegar called for? I've heard that a tablespoon is needed in exchange for 1 egg in a baking recipe. This trick is often used by people with egg allergies. I've yet to try it though.

1:34 AM, February 28, 2007  
Anonymous Fun said...

I chanced upon your blog when I was searching for a yogurt cake recipe nearing Christmas. Since then I've been reading your blog and I am absolutely hooked! I love the way you write. I love all the recipes. I am no professional baker but your lemon yogurt cake recipe was so simple! Friends kept on asking for more and I had to bake it again and again and again. Thank you so much for sharing!

Naturally I am delighted that you'll be writing a cookbook! I'd jump at any chance to grab a copy. I do hope it'll be available in sunny Singapore, where I'm from.

4:59 AM, February 28, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

Thanks, SF Money Musings! I'm so glad you got a better batch of lemon cookies - aren't they good? And as for soups, I know; I love 'em too. I'll see what I can do about posting another one here soon...

Catherine, see Kayenne's response, above. She's right: baking soda and vinegar react to produce carbon dioxide, which helps to leaven the cake. I had forgotten exactly how it works until I saw your question and remembered that, back when I had a vegan boyfriend, I baked lots of cakes with vinegar and baking soda as a substitute for eggs. Sounds strange, I know, but you'd never know the vinegar was there.

Thank you, dear Shari, for hopping over here and leaving such sweet words. Hope you're having a wonderful stay in SC. xo

Thank you, Five Flowers! That means so much to me. And as for my photographs, we'll see. My editor wants to use them, but we're unsure of whether they would be in black and white or color. My photos are so spare that I have a hard time imagining them in black and white, but we'll see...

Thanks for chiming in with your helpful reply, Kayenne! And as for the quantity of vinegar here, you know, it seems to be enough. The cake is not a terribly high riser, but it has a very nice crumb and is not - to me, at least - any more or less dense than a typical banana bread. I think it has the right amount of vinegar.

Fun, I'm so happy to hear it! I just made one of those yogurt cakes last night, myself. A variation of it will most certainly be making an appearance in the book! Speaking of which, yes, my publisher bought world rights, so it should be available in Singapore. I'll ask my editor about it...

8:49 AM, February 28, 2007  
Blogger Kelli said...

Ironically I just pulled out a batch of banana muffins before comming here...now I'm wishing I would have come here first!

9:12 AM, February 28, 2007  
Anonymous Pam said...

Molly, did I find out about "I'm mad and I eat" from you or from someone else? You might Google that if you don't already know about it - she's a good writer on food topics - short and fun! Different than yours, but also fun.


10:23 AM, February 28, 2007  
Blogger kayenne said...

hehe funny, i didn't even notice Catherine's question there... must've something to do with me reading at 3am.

thanks for the feedback, Molly. i'll probably try this trick sometime this weekend. been meaning to experiment with this since december, last year, but it being the busy season, i never seem to have found the time.

seeing as how you love banana bread, have you tried making it with a cup of melted chocolate swirled in, instead of chips? HEAVENLY.

3:34 PM, February 28, 2007  
Blogger Tea said...

Yay, a baked good with no eggs! There may be hope for me yet:-)

3:36 PM, February 28, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

Oh, I don't know, Kelli - a batch of banana muffins sounds pretty good too!

Pam, you might have found it here. Cookiecrumb, the keeper of I'm Mad and I Eat, comes by and comments occasionally, and I linked to her not too long ago, when I mentioned some wild fennel seeds she'd sent me. Her blog is great! Smart and funny and well-written.

Oooh, no, I haven't tried that, kayenne. But it does sound heavenly. Wow.

Yup, no eggs, Tea! Think you can find a way to tweak it to get around the wheat flour and sugar too? I'll keep my fingers crossed! xo

5:54 PM, February 28, 2007  
Blogger Cookie baker Lynn said...

Molly, I love your blog. Your writing and your recipes are fabulous and I can't wait to love your cookbook, too!

I just polished off my bananas making pancakes this morning, but will have to pick up some more to make banana bread now.

9:48 AM, March 01, 2007  
Blogger Max said...

I am quite loyal to my mom's recipe for banana bread, which includes an insane amount of baking soda and cooks for 3+ hours, turning out a dark and moist bread. I'm also a bit wary of the coconut, but your rave reviews have convinced me! Sounds like a must-try. :)

2:56 PM, March 01, 2007  
Blogger Natalie said...

Your banana bread sounds delicious. I have Home Baking as well, and it is actually one of my absolute favourite cookbooks (though I haven't yet made the banana bread). I would like to say that I think your writing is wonderful; you are able to capture the essence of those little culinary moments that yield much pleasure and brighten the day.

7:23 AM, March 02, 2007  
Blogger Toni said...

I've been lurking on your site for a long time, and finally posted a link to it today on my blog. You're one of my main inspirations - for food, writing, photography - the lot.

I used to work from home in the days I lived in New Mexico as a potter. Now I live in San Diego and work in my own clinic. There's something positive to say about both of them.

And lots of positive things to say about your banana bread recipe. This is one of the few "sweets" I make, and your recipe looks intriguing. Especially so since coconut showed up in my last post (never thought of adding it to banana bread, though). I'd love to try it, especially since there aren't any eggs. Sounds challenging!

3:21 PM, March 02, 2007  
Blogger Kate said...

Molly, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all the work you put into Orangette. I've been using your recipes all week (Brandon's chick pea salad, braised cabbage, roasted cauliflower, yum!),
and in preperation for my Grandpa's 80th birthday I'm doing a banana cake bake off today with both of your recipes. I can not wait to be able to flip through your book, it's going to be well used.

And so glad you enjoyed Portland again! I hope you had one of Ken's outrageous croissants!

10:46 AM, March 03, 2007  
Blogger Wandering Chopsticks said...

Portland is my hometown. But I'm an eastside gal and I'd have to say the best spots to eat are away from downtown.

Just wanted to say your Brandon sounds like a real keeper. And your post about how you got together is perfectly lovely.

I've got a banana bread recipe on my blog too. My secrets are whole wheat to give it a nuttier taste, and yogurt for lightness. I also beat the bananas when I'm beating eggs, and not pureeing it. Gives me little banana chunks without mushing the banana too much.

2:21 PM, March 05, 2007  
Blogger Aude said...

Bonjour Molly,
It's a shame I didn't discover your blog earlier...
I love it, the photos, and the recurrent banana bread recipes : I love banana bread and after trying Mav's recipe I think I am going to try some of yours:-)

3:07 AM, March 09, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

Cookie baker Lynn, forget about banana bread for a minute: those banana pancakes you made look amazing! Here's the link, everyone: click. I can't wait to try them.

Max, might you be willing to share the recipe for your mom's banana bread? It sounds very, very intriguing. And as for the coconut here, don't worry - it doesn't taste very coconutty at all. It lends more of a nutty sweetness than anything, and a bit of texture too.

Thank you, Natalie! That means so much to me. As for HomeBaking, what else have you made from it? I was just thumbing through it again last night, and there are so many wonderful-sounding recipes...

Thank you for your very sweet words, Toni. I hope you do try the banana bread - it's not at all challenging, I promise! Just a little unusual, in all the right ways.

Aw, thank you, Kate! I love knowing that so many of my / our recipes have been used and loved in your kitchen. I'm blushing! And as for the croissant: you bet, lady. Brandon and I went to Ken's one morning for breakfast. I had a croissant, and he had two canneles. So, so good.

Thank you, Wandering Chopsticks. Brandon is definitely a keeper, for sure. I feel very lucky. And as for banana bread, your secrets sound right up my alley. The banana bread recipe I've been working on for the book uses yogurt, and I just love the results.

Salut, Aude, and thank you for your sweet comments! I just hopped over and saw your post about mav's banana bread. It looks spectacular. I don't always love baked goods with maple syrup, but I really may have to try it soon...

10:45 AM, March 09, 2007  
Blogger Nancy said...

Molly, I've just discovered your wonderful blog and have been enjoying the delicious writing and pics, not to mention a few of the recipes! Keep up the good work.

I'd also love it if someone knew of a recipe for a banana bread with a soft, fine crumb inside and a (most important) crisp crunchy top. Anyway, keep sending those recipes our way!

2:48 PM, March 09, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

Thank you, Nancy! And as for your banana bread conundrum, you know, I think this one might meet your criteria. The crumb may be a little more nubbly than your ideal, but the demerara sugar gives it a wonderful crunchy top, which is key. Or you could also try any number of other, more typical banana breads and add demerara on top for the crunch. That might be the ticket...

10:29 PM, March 11, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just made a loaf of this banana bread. I only had light rum and apple cider vinegar but it still came out great. I thought it was quite sweet though and might cut the sugar next time. Oh, and only had brown sugar but the top still came out nice and crunchy. Great recipe!

6:28 PM, March 22, 2007  
Blogger Molly said...

So glad you liked it, Anonymous! What did you think of it on the second day? I found that the flavor really blossomed...

9:57 PM, March 24, 2007  
Anonymous Andy said...

the bread is in the oven as I'm writing this, and I can't wait until it's done!

I will have to ask my wife and 2 year old twin daughters to save me a piece, as I will be going to work soon and don't expect to see any leftovers when I get home!

Thanks again, looking forward to the cookbook. Hopefully they will use some of your beautiful photographs.

1:31 PM, April 18, 2007  
Blogger ooishigal said...

tes photos sont vraiment superbes c'est un vrai plaisir!

8:22 AM, April 21, 2007  
Anonymous Osiris Brackhaus said...

Hello Molly,

made your banana bread. Loved it. Didn't live to its second day.
Made it again. Due to personal preference, I exchanged part of the flour with dark wheat flour and buckwheat flour. Loved it even more. Didn't live to its second day, either.
Next time, I made the double amount and exchanged the rum for walnut schnaps. I managed to steal one loaf to take to my office. Which in retrospect, I shouldn't have done, as people went sort of rabid. It didn't live long enough for me to get a cup of tea before nothing was left but a few crumbs.

Long story short: Thanks a ton from a host of people for bringing (in Germany little known) banana bread into their lifes!

12:28 AM, April 22, 2007  
Blogger foodieB said...

hi molly... i made these into muffins this morning and they were absolutely lovely. i have this cookbook too and especially love the accompanying stories. ahhh... powell's i so miss the pnw.

5:19 PM, July 07, 2007  
Blogger Commonplace iris said...

I found this recipe and happened to have some over-ripe bananas waiting to be baked into something in the kitchen so gave this recipe a try. Just had a still slightly warm slice, very tasty. (Because I cannot leave well enough alone and am a big chocolate fan I added some chocolate chips. I like the idea kathleen had of adding some lime zest, maybe next time.) I'm looking forward to trying it after a day to see how the flavour changes.

9:16 PM, July 20, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This recipe sounds lovely! I plan to make it either tomorrow or the next day. Also, I can confirm that Whole Foods carries demerara as I just picked some up. It's expensive though -- $4.99/lb (I expect it shall be worth the pricetag though).

5:54 PM, August 11, 2007  
Blogger JennyCash said...

So, I had leftover bananas in my freezer and thought I'd give this a try. It is so wonderful! The smell alone is worth the effort, and I honeastly didn't even notice the lack of eggs in the ingredients until I read through your post again.

The rum is what makes it extra special for me, I think. My husband, a Newfoundlander, was so excited that I was baking something using "Screech" - dark Newfoundland rum. And ddoing so while eight months pregnant felt wrong in the best possible way!

8:30 AM, October 04, 2008  
Blogger randa said...

I'm moving in a week and half a freezer full of frozen bananas (among other things). Thanks for all the banana bread inspiration - I've been working through the recipes one by one (first this one, and also the one with ginger and cchips!). My husband is sort of becoming a snobby banana bread critic now that he is faced with so many options. Thanks again!!! And thanks for the blog...I always make a weekly visit.

2:48 PM, December 12, 2008  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this is a random question....but is there anyone who hasn't tried banana bread before? The other day, my wife made banana bread for the first time and she asked me how I liked it. I told her it tasted like how banana bread should taste like. Really, how else should banana bread taste? Anyways, I let her know that this was my first time eating banana bread and she was shocked. She thought that everyone has at least tried banana bread before. Is there anyone else that has not tried this before or has tried it for the first time?

7:42 PM, January 15, 2009  
Anonymous Kathryn said...

Holy mother of god - this is an amazing recipe. I made mini muffins (baked about 25 minutes) and used turbinado sugar and substituted vanilla for the rum as there wasn't any lying about. But YUM. Thanks Molly for another winner. Must. Stop. Eating. Them. Now.

5:18 PM, March 29, 2010  
Blogger Ena said...

I love banana breads and this has got to be my favourite recipe! I love the combination with the coconut which I've never used in banana breads before.

4:29 PM, April 13, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I found this recipe!!! I've made it so many times and have yet to tire of it.

3:50 PM, April 28, 2010  
Blogger Ena said...

If I were to bake this in a bundt pan, how long would it take? I am no good at figuring out that on the basis of difference between pans.:/

7:01 AM, June 01, 2010  
Blogger kaitlin said...

A friend made this the other day and mentioned that it was the "banana bread from orangette". Except that you have many banana breads. But this one. It is so, so, so good.

So, now I will have to tag the banana breads so I remember which is which. Or just have a banana bread bake off?

7:37 PM, November 08, 2010  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I realize this post was made forever ago, but I haven't yet thanked you for it. This cake is my favourite think to make when there are too many bananas in the freezer, and yesterday it literally SAVED ME when I forgot about a potluck being held by the supervisor of my thesis. This is life-saving cake. (Also delicious!)

2:38 PM, December 07, 2010  
Anonymous Kerri said...

I made this bread as holiday gifts with dark brown sugar. It was delicious. I did make the extra trip to Whole Foods for demarara sugar to make a loaf this weekend. The banana bread is ridiculously good both ways. If it helps anyone to mention - demarara looks just like "sugar in the raw." I don't know for sure, but I think they are close enough cousins that if you already have raw sugar - use it(or grab a couple extra to go packets from your local coffee shop)! Either way, DO make this bread :)

2:15 PM, January 10, 2011  
Anonymous SeattleDee said...

I'm late to the party in discovering this bread - no matter, the loaf is awesome. Any recipe that has me willingly use/wash a processor bowl, large bowl, stand mixer bowl, assorted utensils and a bread pan must be terrific.

10:20 AM, January 16, 2011  
Blogger littlemissdids said...

Enjoying a slice at this very moment... absolutely DELICIOUS! Thank you! :)

9:22 AM, August 07, 2011  
Blogger Lou Ann said...

These were intensely coconut-y when baked with half butter, half coconut oil. I also swapped in the multigrain flour mix from Good to the Grain for half the flour - and baked them as muffins. So fragrant and tropical for the beginning of summer!

7:56 AM, May 20, 2012  
Blogger Kristin said...

Just made this bread-it is fantastic!! Love the brown sugar topping.

9:26 PM, September 11, 2012  
Anonymous melissa said...

I made this recipe exactly as it was written and I can say, without a doubt, it is one of the most delicious banana breads I've ever had. And I was really shocked that it held together without egg-- the texture is perfect.

I really love your very personal, very beautiful site. Thank you for sharing!

10:07 AM, November 27, 2012  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Thanks to the Spilled Milk banana bread episode, I am now on a mission to make all of your banana breads. Unfortunately, however, I made this one and then immediately had all of my friends and family ask me to make it for them. This recipe adapts well to a mini loaf pan (reduce baking time to about 40 minutes)!

9:14 AM, August 07, 2015  

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