Saturday, April 18, 2009

Orangette's Banana Bread

I'm sad to report that I've just finished Molly Wizenburg's, A Homemade Life.  I read the book slowly, so I'd have a little bit more to savor every time I wanted it.  I loved it.  I really like the way it was setup, short little stories, two to four pages, and then a recipe.  And then another story, and a recipe.  Molly's writing is so personal, witty, and enchanting.  Each and every time I read the book, I went on a journey to the places we all really dream about.  It was an ethereal experience.  Many of you know I've been a huge follower of Orangette for years now and to get a book, something I can hold in my hands, has been big news!  

There are loads and loads of recipes I will make from this book.  The Butternut and Vanilla Bean Soup sounds lovely.  The Scones are being talked about with high regard.  Burg's Potato Salad sounds like a recipe right up my alley.  She also writes about a Vanilla Buttermilk Cake with Glazed Oranges.   That just sounds pretty.  But for some reason I started with her Banana Bread with Chocolate and Caramelized Ginger.  I have a soft spot for banana bread.  I once made what I thought was the perfect banana bread.  It was dense in all of the right ways, moist, oh-so-moist, rich from the addition of sour cream, and had the most lovely crack down the center after baking.  It also had chocolate chips inside and cinnamon sugar on top.  It was perfect.  And I only made it once because I lost the recipe.  You can't imagine how many times I've fantasized about finding that little piece of paper.

Before I go further to report on this recipe, I should preface it by saying I don't like ginger.  I don't.  I can take a bit of it in Asian food and that's about it.  A sprinkling of dried ginger here or there, I won't mind.  I like Gingerbread men?  It's just that big chunks of the stuff kind of make me sick.  For some reason, I threw caution to the wind and jumped into this recipe feet first. After eating this recipe, I still don't like ginger.  Even when it's dried and cute all dolled up in little squares with sugar dresses on.  It glistens.  It sparkles.  But, I still don't like it.

I wish I could say that's the only reason this banana bread won't replace the one I dream about. I really can't even stand to talk negatively about something that comes from Miss Molly.  I feel like I'm about to speak harsh words about the queen that everyone unanimously adores, including me!  I know Molly's recipes are good, fabulous even, this one's just not for me.  

Ginger business aside, I just didn't find the taste or texture very memorable.  I  guess I like my banana bread a little denser.  And moister.    

It's kind of funny because I doubled the recipe too.  I had lots of bananas and lots of zeal about making it.  So we really had our work cut out for us to finish it. 

They look nice, don't they?  They baked off beautifully.  They really did.  Twelve muffins and one gorgeous loaf.

You can see a little chocolate chip there below poking it's little head out.  I do fancy chocolate in banana bread.  Only the most uptight person wouldn't.

I couldn't resist dousing it with a little bit of my cinnamon sugar.  

Okay, here's the recipe.  I'm sure you wonder why I even blogged about something I didn't really care for.  Well, I just am.  I took pictures of it and ate it and I think a lot of people out there like it.  So, I think if it looks and sounds good to you then you should try your hand at it. It might just become your Perfect Banana Bread recipe.  I'm pretty sure it's right up there on Molly's list and she knows something good when she sees it.  She still has my devotion.   


Molly Wizenberg

6 tbsp butter melted

2 cup ap flour

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cup semi sweet choc chips

1/3 cup chopped crystallized ginger

2 eggs beaten

3 bananas mashed up

1/4 cup yogurt

1 tsp vanilla

Oven 350F grease loaf pan.

Whisk flour, salt, baking powder, sugar.  Add chocolate chips and ginger.  In another bowl add mashed bananas, melted butter, yogurt, eggs, vanilla, whisk it all up.  Add this to flour bowl and stir to totally combine.  Scrape into loaf pan, smooth top, pop in oven for about 50 mins, and do the toothpick drill, you know, where it comes out clean.


missmallory said...

I really like this series of pictures. . . nice work!

Pink Rose Cottage said...

I also loved the book - I bought it on a Saturday and it was finished on the Sunday. I have earmarked most of the recipes and so far have tried four including the banana bread which I made today. It is nice but maybe I'm just not a banana bread kinda gal. Have you tried the stewed prunes recipe? It is really good - especially spooned over some balkan yogurt.

RachelleLouise said...

Thanks, Miss Mallory! xx

Pink Rose Cottage: Hello! Thank you so much for your comment! I stumbled upon Molly's several years ago and fell in love at first sight! The book was great, wasn't it! Yeah, something about this banana bread didn't rock my boat, but I'm sure many love it! I once made a banana bread that was AMAZING! Of course I lost the recipe and have never found it again. It had sour cream in the mixture and chocolate chips, it also had a cinnamon sugar crust. It was rich of course, but very moist, tasty, and gorgeous! Like something you'd see in a really good pastry case in a coffee shop. I haven't tried the stewed prunes yet... Balkan yogurt?! Sounds amazing, don't think we have it around here in Bellingham? Thank you so much for stopping by! I hope you revisit sometime soon! : )