March 22, 2010

get ova it

How many recipes for banana bread do you think are in existence? I hypothesize that there are no less than 82,926.

Fiercely fruity.
Some recipes are generous with the banana mush, some are skimpy. Some use nuts, some use chocolate, some use caramel, some use dried fruit. Some use special flours and some are eggless. And on it goes.

I recently tried two of those 82,926 recipes, one out of curiosity and one out of necessity.

Batch #1 was made from a recipe that had been reviewed by almost 5000 cooks, nearly all of whom gave it a five-star rating. Clearly, I needed to see what all the fuss was about.

Fault line.
Yes, it's a tasty banana bread, but the beauty lies in its simplicity. Ten ingredients (I added cinnamon, walnuts, and raisins) come together in no time flat--the most tedious part is waiting for it to bake.

Batch #2 was made in exactly the same way, but with one glaring difference. Halfway through the process, I discovered that I had no eggs, so I improvised. According to the worldwide spider's nest, there are many, many substitutions for an egg. I picked a flax seed-water combination mostly because I had sincere doubts that it could replicate the function of the egg.

Fragrant and flavorful.
I was right. This batch was much, much, much more flat and dense. Still tasty, of course, but without the desirable fluffy quality of batch #1.

Two down, 82,924 to go.

Last year at this time, I was feasting on some Aloha Dollies. Talk about your fond memories...

75 comments:

Chanel11 said...

I myself have tried at least four, and whilst I have a favourite out of those I still want to try more until I find THE ONE

let us know if you find it.

Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Grace, I'm scared to link you to my banana bread round up lol. There were some amazing variations there! :P

Barbara said...

I gave up on this quest years ago! You're right, Grace, there are so many variations. I finally discovered the perfect recipe (for us, anyway) in Hawaii and have been making it for 25 years. Simple, dense with bananas and with no additions of nuts, raisins or chocolate, which I think detracts from the bread.
Good luck finding one that suits you. It will be fun looking!

The Sugar Queen said...

I'm always on the lookout for a better recipe than the one I've used for over 35 years. I'll have to give the one you linked to, a try.

Otherwise, my search continues ...

Lori said...

I actually made this banana bread from this food blogger and I really loved it but it overflowed. It really needed to be in three pans- not just two. I have now lost the recipe and forget which blogger I got it from. One of these days it will turn up. But texturally it was the best banana bread I have ever made.

And I did not now if you read my comment after yours but garam masala has cinnamon in it. I just know that will make your toes twinkle.

Cara said...

I love your little experiment - and the fact that you chose te substition that you feared would't work :)

M D said...

I would love to try all the possible variations, at least as an experiment. Your Banana Bread looks so moist, crumbly and perfectly done. A bite into this would take me to heaven!

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

There is quite a world of banana breads out there and I thought I was going to have to try a zillion of them too. Somewhere around maybe the 5th one, I discovered my favorite way, which is to use white chocolate in it. I'm generally not a fan of white chocolate, but it just adds an incredible creaminess that just plain rocks!

lisa said...

Can't wait to hear about the remaining 82,924! I love a banana bread with walnuts, and your batch #1 certainly looks like a winner.

kat said...

I have a husband here who would be pretty happy if I went on your challenge of cooking all those banana bread recipes

Lindsey @ pickyeatings said...

I happen to be really weird, and one of the many things I don't eat are bananas. So banana bread falls into that category, even though the issue I really have with bananas is the texture. Like I said, I'm weird.

Hungry Dog said...

I've never found quite the right recipe...often they seem too dense or too sweet. Your egg substitution is curious indeed!

♥peachkins♥ said...

my mom has 1 recipes she's loyal to and that's the banana bread I grew up with..

Amanda said...

I LOVE banana bread. OR.. as we call it in my house, banana cake. Cause really... its basically a cake no? :)

Your looks delightful!

Blessings-
Amanda

Lisa-Marie said...

I love banana bread. My great aunt taught me to make banana chocolate swirl loaf when I was about 8, and I love it to this day!

shaz said...

Oh Grace, how funny to read this and find that you didn't have any eggs but you had flax seeds on hand! I don't really even know what a flax seed looks like. Great experiment though, and now I can safely go back to ignoring flax seed:) The first bread looks awesome (hellooo cinnamon!).

Josie said...

I do love banana bread, and I think I have tried at least a dozen of those 82,000 recipes :) I haven't ever found one that I can't live without, but they are all usually good.
The flax seed sub scares me a little bit, I'm not gonna lie ;)

Julie said...

You're going to be a busy girl! You may want to invest in another oven, and maybe a kitchen assistant :)

Bellini Valli said...

Will you be attempting the 82,000 recipes for banana bread? Even if every food blogger made their own recipe we would never come close...but we could attempt it with an event.

kimberleyblue said...

I too keep on trying different banana bread recipes. I do believe I have found my favourite, but I can never be sure, so I keep on searching.

I never heard of there being very many egg substitutions. Interesting! Both your banana breads look super tasty, that's for sure.

TKW said...

The best banana bread? The one someone else makes for me. :)

Gulmohar said...

So true..I have tried at least 4 :D Will tryyour eggless version next time :-)

Mimi said...

Now I know not to subsitute fax seed for eggs. Enjoy your quest.
Mimi

5 Star Foodie said...

Great experiment! I would love a slice of delicious banana bread right now!

Laura said...

As a banana hater, I can confirm there are indeed 82,926 versions, most of which look as awesome as this and leave me sighing sadly. :)

LilSis said...

I REALLY love banana bread, but I'm really not very good at baking. I recently said that I wasn't going to bake for awhile, but I didn't say NEVER. Since this is supposed to be a pretty easy recipe, maybe even I could do it!

I'm bookmarking now... ya never know!

Amy I. said...

Grace, have I told you lately that you crack me up?!

The Blonde Duck said...

You're so brave. I decided the other day I'm tired of a million variations to everything so I'm developing the Blond Duck Classics and sticking to them.

Until I get distracted again, of course...

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

There are many, that I'm sure! i love moist, nutty and spicy banana breads...

Cheers,

Rosa

Bob said...

Well, that's good to know about the flaxseed sub. The first bread does look fantastic! Heh.

Lucie said...

Well, the first version sure looks delicious! I really dislike bananas but looove banana bread--I definitely agree that it would take a lifetime to try all the recipes out there!

Marjie said...

I'm pretty sure I have tried at least 8,293 of those recipes. I keep going back to one made with sour cream and lots of banana. I'm with the Blond Duck - I'm developing a list of classics and sticking with them - and making notes in my cookbooks about them!

Juliana said...

Grace, my husband loves banana bread, but many of the recipes that I followed turn out to be too heavy...therefore I am still in the search :-)

Faith said...

I'm always looking for a good banana bread recipe since I don't really have a favorite go-to recipe yet...I'll definitely have to check that one out! I've always wondered about the flaxseed/water combo...thanks for sharing that, Grace!

oneordinaryday said...

Hmm. I'd go for the light and fluffy one for sure, but I bet they both tasted good.

Teanna said...

I've never heard of the flax egg subsitute combo! So interesting! I'm very exciting to go on this journey of making 80,000+ plus banana bread recipes!

Leslie said...

No egg = flat flat flat :(...still looks yummy!
Have you tried my Banana bread recipe? It made the blog rounds about a year ago and it seemed like a big hit, or maybe people were just being nice!!! lol

Bridgett said...

It seems like everyone I talk with has some sort of family recipe for banana bread so I am guessing the numbers are a bit higher! Interesting fix with the no-egg dilemma but i'm glad it worked out perfect for you. Looking forward to more banana bread recipes from your kitchen, Grace!

eep said...

I'm still looking for the perfect banana bread recipe. I'll have to try the Banana Banana Bread (recipe 1).

Velva said...

Let me know when you find the perfect banana bread. I have tried so many but, yet to find that one that rocks my world :-) If you find it, can you send it my way?

Pam said...

I love any kind of banana bread as long as it has lots of cinnamon!

Sook said...

That looks fluffy and tasty! :)

Penny said...

Molly Wizenberg (Orangette) has a good recipe for banana bread if you are on a quest. Your first one sounds very doable.

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

Both banana breads look great to me!! Never met one I didn't like. Worthy of the thousands of recipes!

Albany Jane said...

People puttin' chocolate in banana bread - This is what scared me off of the stuff for so long. Eeeuuuggghh!

I've been thinking of playing with flax seed - guess I'll have to up the baking soda or something to increase the fluffiness.

jillian said...

I like banana bread in all its various forms. This first batch sounds especially great. You gotta have cinnamon :)

elra said...

Fluffy bread is always tempting!
Cheers,
elra

Jennifer said...

My favorite banana bread recipe is the light version in the ATK, Family Baking Book. I don't usually like lightened recipes (were talking baked goods after all, they should be rich) but I find banana bread very forgiving of healthy-ing up.

Krissy @ The Food Addicts said...

i am TOTALLY making this when my bananas are ready to harvest in the garden. that is one FLUFFY cake. EEK!

msmeanie said...

Oh, I've made the allrecipes recipe and you are right--it is amazing. Love it. I have heard of that flax+water substitution -- too bad it's not a good substitution for bread, but thanks for reporting! I tried it once for pancakes and the results were not good either.

Joanne said...

The best thing about banana bread? Even flat banana bread tastes amazing. Both of these look delicious, but you know that I'd prefer the fluffy version. Banana bread is one of my favorites!

Sophie said...

Baking without eggs is super tough! Usually stuff comes out dry but this bread looks moist, and of course your added ingredients make it extra tempting :).

Carolyn Jung said...

You're right -- I have quite a few banana bread recipes in my files. That, and banana muffin recipes. Good thing I always have a stash of bananas in my freezer for when the baking mood strikes.

sweetlife said...

great tasty experiment..really can't go wrong with banana bread..yummy!!

sweetlife

Kate said...

Banana Bread! Yum. There certainly are quite a few recipes..everybody has their special twist. Kindof like apple cake! We should all make and post banana bread on the same day! Just kidding....you are right, there are tons or recipes.

Rebeca @All Vegged Out said...

I'm not a huge fan of flas "eggs."
Flax eggs really only work in things that are inherently dense- like bran muffins, or things that can withstand the alteration like a ww burger buns or something.

It is nice in a pinch though :)

cookies and cups said...

i've tried the flax seed substitution too, but only in a cookie, so I didn't notice too much of a difference. I can see how it wouldn't work as well in a bread.
Love banana bread though and yours looks great!

Deborah said...

I believe that there is no such thing as too much banana bread!

Kathleen said...

Lol! I am still trying new banana bread recipes too!

The Dutch Baker's Daughter said...

Your bread looks wonderful! I finally found a recipe I liked, but it's a banana pound cake rather than a banana bread. Hooray for getting yours to be fluffy and moist!

Trissa said...

I can't wait to see the 82000 plus combinations you come out with! heee hee... but seriously - the first one looks delicious enough. I'd stop at that one.

Sandy said...

I can eat any kind of banana bread! :)

I have a yummy EASY STIR recipe that will be in my book that Abby always makes.

But this close up pix is making me .... drool.

Hope you're doing well, Grace!

Von said...

I didn't know you could substitute for eggs...tehehe. I probably would have just given up if I ran out of eggs =]

I love bannana bread! (but then again who doesn't?) I love how the recipe's not too hard too =D

Jaime said...

yeah i don't know how many variations there are out there! i found out and just stuck w/it :)

i don't know if you follow peabody's blog, but this recipe was just calling your name :)
http://www.culinaryconcoctionsbypeabody.com/2010/03/22/to-thine-own-self-be-true/

LyB said...

Nothing like a good ol' banana bread! There's only one banana bread recipe for me though; it's the one my dad used to make and I'm sticking to it! I'll be sure to check out your review of the 1000s of other recipes out there though, for scientific purposes, of course. ;)

Megan said...

I just read on my bag of flaxseed that it can be used as an egg substitute. I was very skeptical. I'm glad you tried it out! Now I know it's probably best to just stick with eggs. I'm a lover of banana bread with chocolate. Ooh and it has to be very dense and moist too.

Ingrid said...

Sooooooooooooo, is the recipe as great as everyone proclaimed?
~ingrid

Lynda said...

This bread does look fluffy and delicious, and I approve of the addition of nuts and cinnamon. I think I've tried 5 or 6 recipes myself and I must say I've liked them all. What's not to love about banana bread? Thanks for 1 more recipe to try Grace!

muffinsareuglycupcakes said...

ah yes, the simpler things are, the harder it is to find the perfect recipe.
just like the good old chocolate chip cookie!
heh. fluffy indeed. love that first picture!

DessertObsessed said...

hahahaha you're so funny! i'm thinking that there are many many more banana recipes out there... i alone can think of 7 different recipes i've tried off the top of my head!

tiffany @ the garden apartment said...

I'm a big fan of banana bread, but I often find that it's not banana-y enough for me. The more banana the better, and your addition of walnuts is a good one. I'd like to try a banana bread recipe that used butter and buttermilk in addition to the egg- I think that would make a really moist texture and good flavor base for the bread. . . .
There really are not any good substitutes for an egg, but I commend you for trying.

Eve said...

I bake something at least twice a week. Cakes mostly and I have a friend who gave me the recipe for her banana cake over 3 months ago. She makes the best banana cake. I've attempted this cake 6 times. Yes, 6. And each once has failed.failed.FAILED.

I love banana bread or cake but the idea of making it ever again makes me want to curl into a ball and cry.

culinography said...

Worldwide spiders nest... LOL

Love it.

I went on a quest for banana bread... and promptly burned myself out. But this post reignites a bit of my banana bread spark. ;)

Livin Local said...

This is also my "go to" banana bread recipe. Others have a bit more, well, specialness, but this is trusty. Also, some end up using half the mixing bowls in my kitchen, and in my mind, a nice basic banana bread shouldn't be a production. This recipe is a keeper.

Danielle said...

eggless....how sad :( and how brave of you to try! but the recipe and the first bread look wonderful. I've even made a chocolate banana bread with strawberries....mmmm banana split.