Which is it? It’s a good question that came up in a discussion about baking this past week-end. Both banana bread and banana loaf come under the “quick bread” category. By definition a quick bread is a type of bread which is leavened with chemical leaveners such as baking powder, sodium bicarbonate, or cream of tartar. Hence the term “quick bread”.
I dug out all my baking cookbooks and in both Joy of Cooking and Fannie Farmer 12th edition banana bread came under the section of quick tea breads. Several other baking books listed banana bread under “quick breads”.
Next I Googled Cooks.com. Indeed they had hundreds of recipes for Banana loaf but when you read them they were variations on banana bread. Googling Banana bread gave the same results. Where the confusion comes in is simply this, Banana bread is baked in a loaf pan, and is sometimes called banana loaf. Just as a one-dish meal cooked in a casserole becomes a “casserole”.
I have a new recipe for Banana Bread (loaf) from Joy of Cooking baking as I write. I’ve changed the recipe slightly, adding double the walnuts and omitting dried apricots. The recipe I have been using for years has a little more flour (makes for a drier loaf). I like it because I spread my slices of banana bread with cream cheese. But I really think this is the best Banana Bread I’ve made!
BANANA BREAD WITH LEMON
Have all ingredients at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350degrees F.
SIFT TOGETHER: 1 3/34 cups all-purpose flour, 2 1/4 tsp baking powder and 1/2 tsp salt. Set aside.
In your stand mixer blend together until creamy: 1/3 cup shortening (use butter or good quality margarine (not softened margarine), 2/3 cup white sugar and 3/4 tsp grated lemon rind.
In a separate bowl whisk two eggs then add around 1 1/34 cups ripe banana pulp(around 3 bananas). The riper your bananas the sweeter and moister your bread will be. Add this mixture to the butter mixture and mix well.
Add the sifted ingredients in about 3 parts to the sugar mixture. Beat the batter after each addition until smooth. Do not over beat.
Now fold in a generous cup of coarsely chopped walnuts.
Place the batter in a well-greased bread pan. Bake the bread about one hour or so until done. Cool before slicing.