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Another Banana Bread

The last few weeks have been kind of juicy in the ole’ U.S. of A.. I’ve felt everything from shame and anger to pride and joy as an American. That is my usual range of emotions related to my citizenship, I guess it has just felt very concentrated. That coupled with summer, and a series of fun visitors, has kept me pretty distracted. When we’ve been home, we’ve eaten a lot of old favorites. I’ve made this [1] eggplant spread a couple of times and still love it. I baked these [2] cakes for the 4th of July and they were as good as ever.

I also tried another banana bread recipe. This one from the pages of Bon Appetit. I don’t actually read Bon Appetit anymore, I just use it for recipes—some sort of reverse Playboy thing is happening?  I do find myself wondering why magazines are making such a mess of themselves. The way to compete with the internet is not to make your magazine seem more like the internet—yet we’re being given lists and infographics and stupid celebrity stuff. But like I said, there are still some good recipes. This banana bread is from El Rey Coffee Bar & Luncheonette in New York City and is a really special riff on everyone’s favorite quick bread that adds some sesame seeds and sesame paste to the mix.

The recipe as written [3] in Bon Appetit includes 2 1/4 cups of “lightly packed” dark brown sugar. I literally have no idea what it means to “lightly pack” brown sugar. Could a recipe instruction be more imprecise and point out every flaw in baking by volume? No. I found a weight-measured version of the recipe on, of all places, the Opening Ceremony blog [4] and used that instead. I packed the weighed brown sugar and it was about a cup and a half of firmly packed brown sugar, which seems like a more reliable way to go. I might play with sugar next time to see if I can reduce the amount, since the bananas are already sweet. If you try, let me know what happens. I baked the bread in a half pullman pan, but a standard 9×5 loaf pan should do (that is the larger of the standard sized loaf pans). I used the rest of the Bon Appetit version, with the exception of the sugar measure. It’s really great.