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A clear sign

I know I’m not supposed to say this, but I think fall may be coming soon. Also, and I know I’m really not supposed to say this, but I baked banana bread again. I’m so sorry, on both counts.

Clearly, I have a problem. If my count is correct, this is the sixth, SIXTH, banana bread and/or cake recipe that I have written about here. Is there some sort of treatment facility for this? A Betty Ford Center for Banana Bread Dependency? I try to stop myself, but I am weak. So weak. Especially when there is honey involved, and when there are crumbly bits of cinnamon sugar on top, and when some of those crumbly bits fall onto the plate and you can press them with the tip of your index finger so that they collect in a sweet, sticky clump, which you can then lift to your mouth and gently, nibblingly, consume. I am so weak about things like that.

It doesn’t help that, as of sometime last week, the rain has arrived in Seattle. I’m sure that we have a few more sunny days in store before it hunkers down for good, but as I type this, I am wearing two layers and contemplating a pair of socks. I am told that I should complain about this - I do have a couple more picnics to squeeze in - but instead, I feel oddly content. I am almost afraid to say it aloud, but I think this might mean that I’m a Real Seattleite. I am heading into my seventh year here, so I guess it’s about time? That, or I have finally started to forget what it was like to live in places that aren’t overcast for eight months of the year? Either way, on Sunday afternoon, after lunch, when the clouds started to hover and a cold wind galloped in and rain pelted the kitchen windows, I lay down on the couch with Jack and took the best, most peaceful nap ever. I didn’t even mind when I woke up a little chilled, with the pattern of the upholstery embossed onto my cheek. I think this is a clear sign of fall, don’t you? Not to mention a big green light for banana bread, which, as everybody knows, is what people, and especially people named Molly, are supposed to eat when they wake up from a nap.

This particular recipe comes, with just a couple of adjustments, from a bakery in Oakland called Bakesale Betty, via the September issue of Bon Appétit. I stumbled upon it last Friday night, while I was trying to organize a teetering stack of magazines on the floor next to my desk before some friends arrived for dinner. Organizing magazines, I find, generally requires thumbing through them at least a little, no matter how rushed I am, and so it was that, on page 135, my eyes fell on the words BANANA BREAD WITH CINNAMON CRUMBLE TOPPING. You can well imagine the noisy chorus of bells this set ringing in my head. It was deafening, like finding yourself in a large, echoing cathedral while the organist is rehearsing. I could hardly keep up a conversation, what with that kind of din. Before the evening was through, I had retrieved three frozen bananas from the freezer - I always keep a stash around - and put them in the refrigerator to thaw. And on Saturday afternoon, I made banana bread.

The recipe isn’t that different, really, from a classic banana bread, the kind that your mother or aunt or best friend’s mother or whoever used to make. But it’s an exceptionally delicate, tender take on the theme, with honey and cinnamon stirred into the batter to make it more interesting and - for the clincher - a generous layer of cinnamon sugar on top, which forms a craggly sort of crust as it bakes. I think it’s my new favorite. In concept, it’s not entirely unlike this recipe, only where that one is chewy and bread-like and bordering on hearty, this one is daintier and more balanced, closer to cake. That doesn’t mean, of course, that you can’t eat it for breakfast, because you can. (Brandon can vouch for that.) It does mean, however, that it’s especially well-suited to the afternoon - to after-nap time, for example, on a weekend in late August. Of course, there’s only one of those left, so if I were you, I might go ahead and preheat the oven now.

Banana Bread with Cinnamon Crumble Topping
Adapted from Bakesale Betty and Bon Appétit, September 2008

For bread:
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 3 medium bananas)
2 large eggs
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup honey
¼ cup water

For topping:
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 ½ Tbsp. packed dark brown sugar

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 9- x 5-inch metal loaf pan. (Alternatively, you can spray the pan lightly with cooking spray and then line it with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the sides. That’s what I did, and it made it very easy to remove the finished bread from the pan; I just grabbed the parchment and lifted. Also, because I don’t have a 9- x 5-inch pan - and because an 8 ½- x 4 ½-inch is a little too small - I used a 10- x 3-inch pan that I found once at a flea market.)

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the banana, eggs, oil, honey, and water. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir well. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

In a small bowl, mix together the topping ingredients. Sprinkle them evenly over the batter.

Bake the bread until a tester inserted into its center comes out clean, about 1 hour, give or take a little. Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then carefully remove the bread from the pan, taking care not to dislodge the topping. Cool completely before slicing.

Yield: 1 loaf


Blogger Samarahuel said...

This year is the first time I've experienced the arrival of fall in Germany, and it seems to have come upon me quite suddenly. Truth be told, I suppose it has been coming on for a good week or two now, but I didn't want to believe it. While my sisters were feasting on corn-dogs and funnel cakes and fresh lemonade to beat the heat at the state fair back in Iowa, I've been finding myself drawn to recipes for soup and warm baked goods, while rousing my coziest sweater and thickest socks from their summer hibernation. One last picnic on Sunday met my quota, it seems; I'm ready for fall.

12:37 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Olaiya said...

Oh dear. Sarah made your chocolate banana bread 4 (!) times in the last 3 weeks. I shudder to think what will happen when she sees this. Looks wonderful...

1:41 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Gemma said...

What good timing. I have been planning on making a marbled chocolate banana bread with dark chocolate chunks and walnuts for the past week. I was going to make it at the weekend but we had friends to stay and I was a little too fragile to contemplate doing anything in the kitchen even though I find making banana bread pretty soothing. I think tonight's the night - note to self, buy eggs and chocolate on the way home...

2:14 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Angela said...

This recipe sounds delicious! I too am a sucker for banana bread. I have a couple tried and true recipes that I found years ago in Cooking Light magazine and I have taken to putting berries in them as of late and making them into blueberry banana (blackberry, etc.) muffins. I almost always have a stash of both muffins and berries in the freezer.

And there is nothing wrong with feeling content at the arrival of fall! I am anxiously awaiting the cool breezes after a stinkin' hot summer in Sicily. I can't wait to pull out my coats, sweaters, scarves, etc. :)

2:19 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Sylvie said...

The sugar crust sounds like a wonderful addition, so does the honey.

2:34 AM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous Lucy in London said...

How odd. Something drove me yesterday, on a cool, grey Bank Holiday here in London, to seek out one of your earlier banana cake recipes and get baking. Instead of making a whole cake I added chopped walnuts and made individual fairy cakes (cupcakes) - I thought that would encourage me to share rather than devour the whole cake myself. It's obviously banana bread season and I look forward to trying this recipe once my stocks are depleted.
Beautiful writing as always.

Lucy in London

2:35 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Victoria said...

How funny to read this post when I was just saying that with a cool, cool August here in NYC, I wasn't waiting as anxiously for fall as usual. But I do love it when it arrives with its delicious toasty scent and cinnamon colors and maybe, just maybe a longing for banana bread.

Good one.

OMG, how cute is JACK.

3:40 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger shari said...

you know i made banana bread last week because of a clear sign. i walked into our tiny rural post office and there were boxes of fruit and vegetables. i was informed that it was all free for the taking (the food shelf was full) and what did i spy? a very ripe bunch of bananas. when life gives you bananas...

since we just got the first batch of honey this year from our neighbor's bees, i think i need to try this recipe, don't you? xo

4:13 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger trupeach said...

with you & your magical words, i can practically smell bananas and cinnamon twirling around my apartment. it's still much too hot here in charleston, sc - but i will certainly return to this recipe in a month or so.

4:38 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Zephyr said...

to both the banana bread
and the nap
and the life in Seattle!
now that too many droughts visit where i live
i dream of living in Seattle.

4:44 AM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous radish said...

I think that banana bread is one of my favorite things to make and yes, makes your house smell all cozy and warm which is perfect for call. I bought hot coffee this morning for the first time since summer began - and there is a definite chill and crispness in the air that signals a turn. Hope you are enjoying the crumbly banana bread - looks tasty!

4:53 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Cindy Marsch said...

Consider a variation with ginger: fresh ginger grated into the batter, and ginger and sugar crumbled together on top. Transcendant!

Enjoying your blog . . .

4:58 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Botacook said...

This banana bread is a perfect example for comfort food :)
I got the september issue of Bon Appetit as well but haven't tried any recipe yet.
I love your pictures, they are different from those of other blogs and kind of "old-fashioned", which gives an interesting atmosphere to your blog.

5:41 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Antonio Tahhan said...

I also store bananas in the freezer for making bread whenever I get the slightest inkling of a craving :) The sugary layer on top sounds divine!! I will definitely be trying this recipe out within the next few weeks!

5:42 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Paula said...

This is such perfect timing. I have a whole heap of bananas ripening, and was ready to make banana bread, but have lost my recipe...

And as always love the writing

5:42 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger 17 beats. said...

i use a recipe just like this (the oil and honey make it so moist and wonderful!), but with white sugar in the topping. yours sounds like a nice change. by the way, you tease with your promises of fall! here on the east coast the temps continue to be high, and indian summer looms in the distance.

5:49 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Il Fornaio said...

I did the same thing when I read the recipe in Bon Appetit-- read the recipe, got up and counted the bananas in the freezer and wound up making a double batch. Decadent crumb topping for banana bread, but there is nothing wrong with that!

6:14 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger jbeach said...

I've been drooling over this recipe and just haven't yet had the time to make it. I'm glad you gave it a go first so now I know it won't disappoint!
Your recipe for banana coconut bread was my favorite 'til now. A bread-off is in order.
Bananas will thaw today!

6:25 AM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous rachel said...

I am loving the idea of fall too, even though we are supposed to be lingering over summer. And you are not alone in your affair with banana bread; I have six bananas waiting in the freezer as we speak. :)

6:29 AM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous ashley said...

Have frozen banana, will thaw. Thanks for pointing the way! Remnants of Fay are producing much needed buckets of rain here in N.C., so I think much napping and tea-drinking and scratching of cats is bound to happen here today!

6:29 AM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous Erin Gergen Halls said...

I am from minnesota, where mornings now are in the low 40's. i should be complaining about that, too, but...its hard to form those words when my brain is being taken over by thoughts of scallopped mushrooms, acorn squash soup, and loaf after loaf (all in one day) of crusty oven bottom breads! great way to cozy up the joint-keeping the oven on all day!
and so, afterall, whats a girl to do but change with the seasons, just like the leaves?! :)

6:30 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Sarah Yost said...

I've already made that chocolate banana bread recipe of yours four times this month. this month. and i've been trying to talk myself out of batch numero 5. Looks like I'll be trying this one next.

6:38 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Mama JJ said...

I don't know...I already blogged about your banana bread with the demerara sugar. This new recipe looks good, but does it really beat that other one?

My mother-in-law just got me about 25 pounds of bananas, on special. I dried most of them, and we've been eating a lot fresh, but I still have a few more sitting on the counter. I just may have to listen to you and go preheat the oven.

6:39 AM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous Jen said...

Oh jeez...yes, I think Fall is in the air here too and I have some very ripe bananas in the fridge waiting patiently for this.

6:44 AM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous Katie said...

That looks like a delicious take on banana bread! I too am partial to the recipes ending in "cinnamon crumble topping."

6:45 AM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous Dana McCauley said...

although news of fall rains is sad, banana bread should never be the reason for an apology. I think it's wonderful when people have favorite foods. Strong likes and dislikes help to define a person.

Who knows, you banana love could land you a banana bread cookbook, a monkey boyfriend, or a gig as a Chaquita spokesperson. All exciting prospects, no?

6:58 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Kitchen Vixen said...

The weather has been so strange this year- a seriously late spring/summer, and now it feels a fit like fall here (Chicago) too. We're having another cool snap where an extra layer is decidely necessary. So no worries about the announcement of fall.

7:00 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger teryll said...

The article dedicated to baked goods in Bon Appetit had me going "goo-goo-gaa-gaa" when I finished reading it. I almost had to wipe my mouth dry. Now I don't feel so pathetic. Thanks. :)

7:13 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Sharon said...

Ooh, the addition of honey sounds heavenly. I forgive you for your banana bread addiction; I have a muffin obsession. Can't stop making them (and eating them).

7:15 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Melindy said...

Ahhhww Molly...

Be proud of your banana bread dependency! At least your not addicted to like... um... processed white bread or something, right?

This is an addiction of true quality...


7:38 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Lisa said...

I, for one, am ready for fall. Bells on, chomping at the bit, all that.

Naps? Oh my. They're for sure on my Top 5 List (of Best Things Ever).

And banana bread! No joke, I was just thinking this morning about making one of our banana breads at lunchtime, for our potluck tonight. Maybe it'll just have to be this one. I'll let you know! Off to the freezer I go...

7:40 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Lindsay said...

Molly, I don't think I have ever commented before, but I have been reading for the better part of oh...3.5 years? I love your recipes, and your writing...it is always exciting when I see a new post on my RSS feed. ANYWAY, I am coming out of the woodwork on this one because I bake banana bread almost once a week (you don't bother me about writing about it too often). I thought the pinnacle was adding blueberries...but crumb topping? Honey? Oh goodness I have a new favorite and all I've done is read the recipe! Thanks so much! And I'll be sure to say hello more often, now that you know I'm here!

7:54 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Camille said...

My family cannot get enough banana bread. I think there must be a therapy group for this banana bread addiction we share. This is yet another yummy recipe to try.

I always freeze bananas when they are starting to go. When I have so many that they fly out of the freezer like torpedos I know it is time to bake a loaf!

8:03 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger kgr said...

You had me at "Bakesale Betty." I live in Salt Lake City but anytime I am in Oakland visiting my sister we head straight to Bakesale Betty's. I've never had their banana bread but their sticky buns are To. Die. For. I have a hard time believing this recipe will be better than your chocolate chip banana bread recipe, but again, Bakesale Betty might be the last word in baked goods.

Happy Fall! I think we might have just had our last hot day here in Salt Lake. I am ready for leaves to change, college football and this baby in my belly to be born.

8:22 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger C(h)ristine said...

Bakesale Betty's has some of the best baked goods ever--thank you for posting the recipe. I am loving every single one of your banana bread recipes this season. :)

If you're ever in the Bay Area, I hope you do check out Bakesale Betty's.

8:24 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Rachel said...

Oh yum. A slightly more delicate banana bread sounds perfect to me. And it is so important to have the correct post nap snack on hand.

8:25 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Koriann said...

I'm a Seatteite too, born and bred, and with this rain we've been having, I've found myself thinking of beef stew.

And then I look at my poor green tomatoes on the vine and feel a little sad.

8:30 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger The Fabulous One said...

Woman, thy middle name should be "Banana Bread". I love you, and your banana bread fixation. If you find a Betty Ford Banana Bread program, forward the info for me.

And don't worry, it's feeling pretty autumnal over on the East Coast, too. (SO. EXCITED.)

8:50 AM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous Erin said...

I just moved back to Seattle after four years away and have been jonesing for fall. Months and months full of excuses to roast, bake and braise, I thought summer would never end!

8:52 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Liz said...

OHHHH, Bakesale Betty. Best baked goods in Oakland? Very possible (sorry, Arizmendi). Plus, they're just a couple of doors down from the knitting store, which means I can't do one without the other, right? Yarn and something sweet on a sunny afternoon?


9:12 AM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous Leah said...

Bakesale Betty not only has super yum sweet treats (oh, the lamington. THE LAMINGTON), it also has one of the tastiest fried chicken sandwiches around. I'm pretty sure that's what made BB famous - people line up down the block for it. It's topped with slaw that has bits of jalapeno in it.

OK, now I'm hungry for everything. You and your banana bread, woman. xo

9:13 AM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous Mel said...

Another BB recipe has made me feel guilty for not trying your previously posted ones. I will have to bake and see what all the fuss is about. Fall is fast approaching in Toronto as well, so the timing couldn't be better.

9:45 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Sabayon said...

It's a little strange how the rain infects you. I haven't lived in the northwest for 15 years, but I still think drizzly overcast weather is strangely beautiful and comforting.
I know fall has arrived when I want to make sweet potatoe pie, bread, cookies, etc

11:44 AM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Alejandra said...

I too have a weakness for banana bread and can think of nothing better for a rainy day. I love that fall is coming; i relish the cool days when baking feel like a gift instead of a painful obstacle towards a wonderful reward. Bananas, in particular, are a favorite of mine these days. I think of simmering them in brown sugar and butter. I think of dipping them into warm melted chocolate. Most of all, though, I think of baking them into perfect little loaves to be consumed warm, perhaps with a bit of melting butter. This recipe sounds wonderful!

12:41 PM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger gail said...

clearly an addiction to baking banana bread, is not a crime! I can't think of any reason not to :)

1:25 PM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous Jessica said...

I'm a long-time reader that seldom comments, and also a bay area resident that has been seeking (although, halfheartedly I have to admit) the recipe for bakesale betty's banana bread for a few years now. So I had to post to say thank you! What a happy day for me. I don't subscribe to bon appetit, either, so I would have completely missed it if not for you Molly!

For what it's worth, it felt like fall this morning to me as well, although it is quite warm in the bay area today so I'm not sure exactly why - just a fall feeling in the air I suppose.

1:52 PM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous Kathrn said...

I personally think it would be more of a crime to limit banana bread production than to increase it. And anything with a cinnamon crumble topping is destined to be heaven. For your next banana bread endeavor, try using buttermilk as a liquid addition. It brings such a welcome tanginess, especially with the sweet bananas and the assumedly equally sweet brown sugar topping.
Now the hard part is not eating my bananas so they may ripen enough for baking ...

2:38 PM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger hannah said...

now listen here lady. i came over because i have a basket full of blueberries and i am still in COMPLETE denial about the end of summer. i did not come for banana bread. i would say mean things, but you know i love you and i also my mind immediately wandered to the several bananas in the freezer and the fact that three out of five huffmans prefer banana bread for breakfast more than any other time of day. i'm done for.

2:41 PM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Penelope Roo said...

Bananas in the freezer...??? I've made frozen chocolate covered banana pops for my nephews, but I've never heard of the freezer as a storage method. What stage of ripeness do you put them in the freezer? Thanks!

Ps. I live in Vermont and fall is definitely in the air!

2:53 PM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger FengLiAn said...

Would you be down for posting some recipes that are wheat free? Do you think that banana bread recipe would work with say, oat flour? I often find that substituting with oat flour works well, but of course it's never as good as with real flour. But allergies, unfortunately, can't be helped.

Great post! :)

3:29 PM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Ai Lu said...

What's wrong with repeating a recipe from time to time? That's how we cook, after all: we discover favorites and make them again and again, and eventually our loved ones begin to give the dishes names like "Nancy's Fried Chicken" and "Joel's Cranberry Relish" and "Elise's Aspic." I think that "Molly's Banana Bread" is a worthy title.
~Ai Lu

4:45 PM, August 26, 2008  
Blogger Lynn said...

You can never have enough bananna bread recipes!!! My cousin has one that we pretty much use, but love any variations and this one sounds yummy!!
It is nowhere near fall here in the state of Virginia but we have had cooler weather than normal and I must say that I am ready for fall!!!

5:26 PM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous Molly Herrmann said...

This Molly likes banana bread and naps, too... :-)

7:17 PM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous Mimi said...

I'm pretty sure we'd be BFF if you lived in Chicago!

8:06 PM, August 26, 2008  
Anonymous elarael said...

My mother made the best banana bread (fannie farmer cookbook: ) and I LIVED for the morning after a loaf was baked, j*st so I co*ld toast it til crisp and spread it with an indecent amo*nt of b*tter. (Please pardon the broken keyboard). Very good memories...Amazing that we never tho*ght to add cinnamon!

PS: these photos are incredible. A new techniq*e? It's lovely, whatever is going on.

1:15 AM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger jbeach said...

Penelope Roo, bananas in the freezer is just the best storage method...I put them in when they're pretty black, on the border of spoiling. Or extremely ripe, as I like to call them.

But, ahem, I made this banana bread last night, and while it certainly was tasty and moist (I used a tad over 1 cup of bananas), I was slightly disappointed. Actually, the disappointment arose when I was making the bread as I finally noticed that the cinnamon "crumble" topping wasn't actually a crumble at all, but just cinnamon sugar. It was tasty and provided a lovely crunch, but I was thinking of a more "crumbly" topping, you know, with flour, like crumb cake. I thought a combo of banana bread and cinnamon crumb cake sounded divine. I think I'll have to devise this recipe myself!

7:05 AM, August 27, 2008  
Anonymous laura said...

I don't think I'm in denial when say banana bread is a healthy addiction.

8:14 AM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Sarah Yost said...

5 times. Now I've made your chocolate banana bread 5 times this month.

8:27 AM, August 27, 2008  
Anonymous Alisa said...

Have you tried Banana bread with Coconut Sauce? Seriously, I found a recipe at www.foodista.com and tried it myself. Its different but definitely worth it!

8:30 AM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Erin @ The Skinny Gourmet said...

If you find that ford-esque center, I may need it too. Now that the mornings and evenings are pleasantly cool, I also find myself strangely drawn to firing up the oven again. And always out comes banana bread. But I am prepared to blame the husband. He is on a fruit smoothie kick, but never manages to use all his bananas before they start to brown. He always dramatically insists it is okay to just throw them out, but this is all a ploy to get me to spout off on the evils of wasting food while I whip up some banana bread. Clever bugger he is.

9:11 AM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger cindy* said...

i noted this same recipe when i read that issue. it sounds so wonderful (nap and rain included)!

9:39 AM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Mama JJ said...

It's a cool, dreary, rainy day, I just got the kids down for their naps (which is better than taking a nap myself), I fixed myself a big cup of coffee, and I just finished off a piece of the banana bread, warm from the oven. Very good. Different from the others. (The one with the Demerara sugar topping may still be my favorite, though.)

One question: in the photo, your bread looks really dark, ie. black, on the bottom. Do you have trouble with it getting burnt? I placed my loaf pan on another baking pan and I even then wrapped the loaf pan in foil and it still got too dark (nearly burned). Advice? Words of wisdom from the banana bread queen?


10:04 AM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Astrid said...

I didn't know until I read this post; Seattle sounds exactly like Bergen - weatherwise. And if it comforts you, the rain has just started in Bergen to.

10:46 AM, August 27, 2008  
Anonymous Hillary said...

Oh no, is it really fall already? This is so sad. But if fall means banana bread then I guess it's not as sad as I thought.

11:10 AM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Snooky doodle said...

I really like reading your post. I just imagine your story. This bread sound and looks yummylicious. :-) This recipe looks good. hmmmmmm We re still in the middle of the hot scorching summer here. Wish i could already feel the first signs of fall. i love winter

11:22 AM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Molly said...

Hi, everybody! Thank you - as always - for all your comments. Good lord. You are too good.

To reply to a couple of questions:

Penelope Roo, storing bananas in the freezer is really handy. I put mine in, peel and all, when they're very, very speckled. I usually put them in a gallon-size freezer bag, to ward off freezer burn. To thaw, either let them sit at room temperature for a few hours or in the fridge overnight. Be sure to thaw them in a bowl, though, because they will often release a bit of "juice" as they soften. (And don't throw out that juice! Just mash it in with the flesh.)

Fenglian, I'm afraid that I know very little about wheat-free baking. But my friend Shauna, who writes the blog Gluten-Free Girl, knows a lot, so you might try her. Here is her recipe index, if you'd like to look for some recipes there.

Elareal, so glad you like the photos! I'm using a Polaroid camera with a close-up lens. So much fun to play with.

jbeach, I know what you mean, even though I really like the cinnamon sugar crust. The words "cinnamon crumble" in the recipe title are a bit misleading. I left the title as Bon Appetit wrote it, but it should probably be "Banana Bread with Cinnamon Sugar Crust" or something like that.

Mama JJ, my banana bread was browned at the edges, but not at all burnt, no. And definitely not black! (I think that may just be an effect of the photo.) I worried a little, in the final moments of baking, about the top browning too much, so I tried tenting it with foil, but I don't think that did anything, really, and I wound up really liking the color / flavor. I'm sorry you had trouble, though!

11:37 AM, August 27, 2008  
Anonymous mycookinghut said...

I love banana cake! And I dont mind to make it many times too! :)

1:35 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Maria said...

I can't wait to make this recipe. I have tons of bananas that need to be used..and I like the addition of honey and the topping!! YUM!

1:43 PM, August 27, 2008  
Anonymous Daniel said...

I believe northerners, west coasters, and upper midwest folks (like me) are starting to feel the fall creeping in. I just had some signs of my own become alarmingly clear, but my reaction is to enjoy the last of the delicious flavors of summer in Michigan.

LOVE your blog. Really looking forward to sifting through your archives.

2:10 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Cheryl A said...

Sign me up! My recipe has far too much oil in and I've never found a worthy substitute. The description of squidging up the topping is what did me in. Thanks!

3:26 PM, August 27, 2008  
Blogger Alice Q. said...

You know, we're actually feeling Fall creeping in as far south as San Diego, so you are definitely not alone! This sounds delightful. One of my birthday cakes (yes, I was a very lucky girl) this year was your banana cake with cream cheese frosting - so I can vouch that you definitely know from banana cake. ;-) Or bread!

4:37 PM, August 27, 2008  
Anonymous justfoodnow said...

Normally I don't like banana bread, but when reading this article I was so inspired that I realised the bread needed me too. You see, I realised it was the fault of the banana bread, not me ....

Anyway, I didn't have any usable sugar (only sticky brown, but loads of honey, so I substituted your sugar with honey and peel& juice of one lemon) and added the extra honey.

Well, you are a genius! Nothing less.

For adding to my life, thanks.

1:01 AM, August 28, 2008  
Anonymous Fifikins said...

ooh Yum! I turned them into muffins and they are divine! 25 minutes and 16 muffins later... And so moist too!

4:40 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Dani said...

i do not think you have a problem... if it is good banana bread, which i am sure it is, there is nothing wrong with a little over-indulgence :)

10:45 AM, August 28, 2008  
Blogger Cheilita said...

oh dear orangette lassy,
this is such a sweet treat of a blog to read. banana bread can never be made too much and even if it is, you can give it away and appear that much more wonderful.

1:48 PM, August 28, 2008  
Anonymous Em said...

This was my first time making banana bread and it was absolutely delicious. The streusel topping was an absolute treat. Delicious, thankyou for the recipe!

3:31 PM, August 28, 2008  
Anonymous Jess said...

Molly, thanks to you I'm now a more confident baker! I made this bread last night and it was delicious. I love banana bread, but find most recipes too greasy and oily. This turned out perfectly. And my awesome Ikea loaf pan was the perfect size.

And wonderful Bon Appetit article this month!

7:35 AM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger Rachel A said...

I just said to myself this morning that I need to make banana bread with my very ripe bunch of bananas! How fortuitous!!
By the way - quite jealous of the snuggly-gray-rainy-perfect for naps with the dog - weather! I'm quite ready to be done with the muggy/stickiness here in Chicago. Here's to crisp air and the leaves changing colors... Can't wait to taste the banana bread!

10:37 AM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger Eileen said...

I made banana bread the other day for the first time since last spring (also had the over-ripe bananas in my kitchen). But I am actually ready for the season of cooler temperatures and the kind of baking and cooking that all entails. My husband LOVES all type of banana bread, so I am going to give this recipe a try. Also, I saw mention of a chocolate banana bread from a previous posting. That is another I will need to bake. THANKS

12:33 PM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger runsyi said...

I just realized the same thing about the topping last night when I was baking banana bread. You might want to try the allspice crumb topping from Baking with Dorie. It's basically sugar, allspice, butter, and flour.

2:40 PM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger Susan said...

I found the same recipe in BA on Saturday, made it on Sunday, and then again on Wednesday night because it is DIVINE! The second time around I used an egg substitute (my daughter has an egg allergy) and it turned out equally well. I'm thrilled to see your great experience with it too!

2:44 PM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger amisha said...

banana bread with crumb topping?! be still my heart... 2 of my favorite things together :) and i too always keep a banana stash in the freezer... that's where they head when they get a bit too spotty for snacking, because they're perfect for banana bread! can't wait to try it.

5:38 PM, August 29, 2008  
Anonymous Caroline said...

i use to live in oakland, and i have to say, pretty much everything bakesale betty's makes is delicious.

but, most people go there for their FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICHES. You'll notice that's what most people on Yelp are talking about: http://www.yelp.com/biz/bakesale-bettys-oakland

Thanks for sharing the recipe on here, though. I'm a fellow food blogger (in the SF bay area) and funnily enough started making banana bread the last few weeks as well, and posted my own recipe a few days ago. Strange.

6:06 PM, August 29, 2008  
Blogger Nicole said...

Hmmmmm.... I have 3 VERY ripe bananas sitting here and a plan to head to drive down to my parents for the weekend tomorrow... Whatever shall I do??? This seems the perfect plan for me in the morning!!! Thank you for the suggestion.

8:17 PM, August 29, 2008  
Anonymous Emily said...

The second I saw that recipe, I thought of you, and of trying it. You've made me a banana bread convert, what can I say?
Of course, I also considered not even bothering with it, since your recipe with the sugar crust was so incredibly delicious.
Guess I'll have to reconsider, since it has the Orangette stamp of approval. ;)

11:03 AM, August 30, 2008  
Blogger Lael said...

I have to admit that when I saw the first signs that this was a banana bread recipe, I had to let out a laugh because even though we don't really know each other (wait, we DON'T know each other; I'm just another person who stalks you via your blog and flickr...joking, by the way), but one thing I have learned about you through your recipes index is how much you love banana bread. And in that we are kindred spirits because I really can't go without it either.
On another note, I am so excited for your book to come out, Molly. You are a beautifully gifted writer and your taste for food is so agreeable.
Enjoy the coziness of Washington's fall.

2:30 PM, August 30, 2008  
Blogger jen said...

Just baked this - meaning it just came out of the oven about ten minutes ago.

Good golly miss molly it was delicious! Thank you! I guess it should be mrs. ? :)

I can't wait for fall.

5:09 PM, August 31, 2008  
Blogger erita said...

molly--finally 'de-lurking' and all i can say is 'wow!' (and maybe a little bit more)

your blog entry was perfect timing! this cloudy seattle labor day seemed like the perfect framework for banana bread.

i must confess, i made a little loaf just for myself to eat warm--took just one bite and i called all my friends to come devour the big loaf still cooling on the counter--so delicious i had to share!

thank you!

2:40 PM, September 01, 2008  
Blogger Leslie said...

I feel like I am always commenting on your older posts, but better to comment than not, right? I just made those chocolate chip cookies. Oh. My. Word. Best I've ever had. The hubster agrees (and he has been a die-hard Toll Houser since the womb I think). Thanks for settling my search for the perfect chocolate chip cookie! Oh, and the sea salt really seals the deal, so for those of you out there hesitant to try that, DO IT!

5:35 PM, September 01, 2008  
Blogger freudian dream said...

Being weak when it comes to banana bread type foods is completely acceptable. This particular recipe yields a loaf that looks a lot like what my grandma's banana bread looked like. There's no recipe to speak of since she kept them all in her head. I'm going to try making it and see if it tastes anything like hers! Thanks!

8:18 PM, September 01, 2008  
Anonymous Mpls Lisa said...

This sounds so good! I have a condition or my son says I am OCD about throwing away overripe bananas. I throw them in the freezer and when it gets cool enough, I make banana bread! I like the idea of the topping. Wish you could get Bakesale Betty's recipe for her Sticky Date pudding! That one sounds sinful!

1:37 PM, September 03, 2008  
Blogger Jason said...

I've been reading for a long time and finally tried a recipe! Delicious! I blogged about you and this bread, so watch out for a potential spike in hits. I'm talking TENS of hits. Haha.

11:45 AM, September 05, 2008  
Blogger Nick's Mama Nance said...

This is the ABSOLUTE BEST banana bread I have ever had. Thank you so much for posting it.

9:11 PM, September 06, 2008  
Blogger Esra said...

This banana dread was absolutely delicious! I have to make a new one, NOW !!!
Thank you so much for this post:-)

12:41 AM, September 09, 2008  
Blogger carly said...

i am making this as we speak, except i divided the batter to make 6 muffins with what was left. it smells awesome so far!

9:03 AM, September 09, 2008  
Anonymous Jennifer said...

Good morning! I just made this last night. However, it didn't rise much like yours did. Maybe the sugar crust is too heavy? Or is it that I used an egg substitute? Or is it that I overmixed/undermixed? Besides the look of it, it tastes fantastic!! Hopefully my daughter who has an egg allergy will like it. :)

Thank you!

7:04 AM, September 15, 2008  
Anonymous Veronica said...

I am new to your blog. I have to say, I'm hooked! I just love it! I plan on trying some of your recipes and love your writing style. I hope to do some food writing at some point, so you are my inspiration!

1:43 PM, September 16, 2008  
Blogger jcupcakes said...

i made this yesterday and brought it over to my grandparents' house... they adored it. i took half home and have been nibbling it all day and now i just looked and it's almost gone! seriously this banana bread is trouble

6:55 PM, September 16, 2008  
Anonymous kirsten said...

you totally had me with the 'cinnamon sugar topping'.
so gonna make this one. today.

7:16 PM, September 16, 2008  
Blogger Rachel Catriona said...

Woo hoo! Comment 100! First: I hate bananas. They make me gag and so far I have only stomached them hidden in fruit smoothies.

However, this recipe, the writing, the photos, my husband's three rotting bananas in the fruit basket, all conspired to make me bake my first loaf of banana bread.

Oh my. Is this what I have been missing? It was so moist - yet not too dense. So delectably sweet - yet despite the sugar not sugary. I'm in. I am converted. Banana bread forever.

*After the first slice I was too scared to have the whole loaf at the ready to be gobbled. I sliced it up and froze in pieces and just thawed one for breakfast this morning. Just as good as I remember.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

8:24 PM, September 16, 2008  
Anonymous Bridget said...

This was really great banana bread. I substituted butter for the oil, and baked it in a muffin pan instead of a loaf pan (375 degrees for 20-25 minutes, 16 muffins). It was so light and tender. The cinnamon was a great addition this time of year, when I'm just barely starting to admit to myself that fall is imminent.

12:40 PM, September 21, 2008  
Blogger Mélanie said...

Ohh, you shouldn't stop baking banana breads if they are always that good! I used your recipe, and made mini muffins, some with chocolate chips, some with nuts and some with the cinnamon topping (my favorite). This way, all my colleagues had a different favorite one, but they all agreed to say it was delicious!
Thanks for the recipe Molly! I don't even think I'll try another one next time.

3:25 PM, September 28, 2008  
Anonymous margaux said...

I have an addiction with making banana bread, too. There was one year where I'm pretty sure I was making it every two to three weeks!

The recipe looks fantastic. So do the tomatoes above. I'm going to try them this weekend when I've got a little time!

11:13 AM, September 30, 2008  
Anonymous Guy who just made this said...

Holy crap this is good. I only had a 8 ½- x 4 ½-inch loaf pan, but ended up using an 8x8 pyrex dish and cutting out about 10 minutes.

8:14 PM, November 11, 2008  
Blogger fille de lettres said...

I know I'm a little late on the uptake with this one, but I A.) Have just discovered your wonderful blog thanks to the Times list and B.) Was so delighted to read of your love of banana bread! We had three overripe bananas sitting here yesterday and I happily followed this recipe with absolutely delicious results.
Thanks so much! -Sinéad

9:14 AM, March 05, 2009  
Blogger Lauren said...

...in the oven at this very moment...smells delicious...

9:43 AM, April 08, 2009  
Blogger susanlavonne said...

it's spring and i'm on the east coast...but the drizzle and chill make it seem more like a seattle fall.
after i arrive home from work, i am going to a)make this heavenly treat, b)take a nap and c)well...you know the rest
thank you. i only discovered your site when i ordered your book and found the site listed in the Amazon comments. i'll definitely be back :-)

7:57 AM, May 05, 2009  
Anonymous hannahbee said...

thank you so much for the recipe. i just made it and it is perfect!

5:19 AM, August 05, 2009  
Blogger Tara said...

Molly, this banana bread is the BEST, I've made it four times in the last two weeks! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I've been cooking tons of your recipes since I found your website in November and I am huge fan.

6:46 PM, January 24, 2010  
Blogger Emily said...

Ooooohhhhh, this one is good, girl! Damn! That topping is killer.

8:23 PM, February 24, 2010  
Anonymous Danielle said...

BEST BANANA BREAD EVER. Molly I can't even tell you how happy I am that I found your blog - I 100% share your banana bread obsession! I'm always in search of new banana bread recipes and combinations...and I have to tell you this recipe just moved up to my #1. I also really love the Classic Banana Bread recipe from Cooking Light (that coincidentally isn't very light). Tried the Cooks Illustrated version and was not impressed at all. Thanks for the great recipe!!!!!!!!!

8:17 PM, May 28, 2010  
Anonymous Mavis said...

I live just a block away from Bakesale Betty's and I remember the first time I ever bought something from them was when they were at the farmer's market and I asked for a sample and they gave me an entire pan of this banana bread for free! Such a sweet bakery!

7:36 PM, October 11, 2010  
Blogger engella09 said...

Just made this incredibly wonderful bread and couldn't even wait for it to cool completely before diving in. I did make some minor adjustments, though, to make it a teeny tiny bit healthier (basically so I can eat more and feel less guilty!):

- Just over 1/2 c. sugar instead of 1 c. (still plenty sweet for my tastes)
- 1/4 c. oil instead of 1/2 c.
- Added 1/2 c. unsweetened applesauce
- Didn't add water (to make up for the moisture of the applesauce)
- Didn't have honey so put in maybe 1/8 c. molasses -- gave it a beautiful dark color and rich flavor
- Mixed about 1 tbsp. melted butter into the topping to give it a little extra crunch.

Had to bake it about 20 minutes longer because of the extra moisture. Parchment paper worked great! Super easy, super delicious -- thank you for the inspiration! Love the polaroid shots.

7:17 PM, October 18, 2010  
Anonymous Trushna said...

Molly, I made your banana bread for the 4th time in as many weeks, each with a different audience, and it's been a hit every single time. One of my colleagues who "hates bananas" had 3 slices one after another.
I like to substitute just less than half of the white flour with whole wheat flour. Not only does it make the whole thing appear even healthier, but the whole wheat gives it a nice nutty edge and texture without compromising on lightness and moistness. Mmmmmmm. Your recipe list is now my go-to for any cooking occasion.

6:36 AM, November 15, 2010  
Anonymous kathryn sands said...

i love this banana bread! it is my "go to" recipe for when i need to use overripe bananas. just put another one in the oven and can't wait to share it with my friends. thanks for the inspiration. i live in san francisco and have yet to visit bakesale betty in the east bay!

9:44 PM, January 15, 2011  
Anonymous Carly said...

I absolutely love banana bread! And this recipe sounds yummy! So glad banana's are cheap again so I can make this! (I'm in Australia-the floods wrecked all our crops a year or two ago).

12:28 PM, March 04, 2012  
Blogger Cannella Vita said...

I just made this in a mini pan -- and popped it in the freezer. I have been popping out of my seat constantly for the past hour slicing off little slivers of this delicious bread. Almost half of the loaf is gone now... THANK YOU MOLLY.

5:56 PM, August 27, 2012  
Blogger The Kitchen Kook said...

There is NO SUCH THING as too much banana bread! Haha :)

I made this recipe and LOVED it! I also made a version with a DIFFERENT crumb topping - and the new topping made the bread even BETTER! It was so crackly, crunchy, and just perfect. Mmmm :)

Here are my two versions of this banana bread :D

3:33 PM, January 28, 2013  
Anonymous Diane said...

TOO much SUGAR! Over-ripe bananas are already extremely sweet. Then the addition of honey in the batter and plus a sugar topping! I love this recipe but it is so much better with less sugar. I put 1/2 cup of sugar and for the topping, I just mixed the brown sugar and cinnamon...not more white sugar. Next time I make it I might even cut more sugar out, just to see....

5:32 AM, May 21, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

By far the BEST banana bread ever. Thank you!

11:12 AM, May 26, 2013  
Blogger Elma said...

I used your recipe today and it turned out great! A little sweet for my taste so I might reduce the sugar next time but my kids LOVE it. Thank you!

10:23 AM, June 08, 2013  
Blogger Beth said...

Just made this sans the topping, replaced the oil with applesauce, and tossed in a heaped 1/2 cup of sliced almonds. SO GOOD!

4:01 PM, August 18, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

2:01 PM, September 12, 2013  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Molly, Your book has changed cooking for me. In one week I've made 11 of your recipes. Here is a picture of this banana bread. It was a huge hit:


Thank you.

5:25 PM, February 09, 2014  
Blogger Emily said...

Molly, this bread is great! I've made it twice now, (my dog ate the first loaf) and both times added frozen blueberries and toasted walnuts. I also baked it in a Pyrex cake round instead of a loaf pan since my loaf pan cracked in the oven. The bread was excellent and I'm sure my dog would agree! Thanks for the recipe!

8:42 PM, September 10, 2014  

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