There is bread I am not fond of. The ryes, the pumpernickels, some sourdoughs – they leave me feeling despondent and disappointed. Especially that one weird rye/pumpernickel hybrid that is swirled like its some kind of delicious marbled bundt cake or something. That is real false advertising. Its not sweet at all and there’s a malt back taste and a bitterness overall that I feel is not appropriate for bread.

I know that these loaves are usually served as a background for lovely corned beef and other fine salty deli meats that overcome the beery anise flavor that the rye imparts, but why not just eat the meat itself and avoid the little seeds in your teeth that drive you crazy all day unless you are smart and thrifty like me and squirrel/ferret away old toothpicks in your car and purse for years at a time?

Challah I love, I am not coming after all the deli breads. Challah I absolutely love. Don’t talk shit about challah. And bagels – well, that is a bread I could eat solely forever and ever. The bagel is the staff of life. I love bagels and I would choose a bagel over a donut, caviar – maybe even chocolate – yes that is my love for bagels. But not blueberry bagels. They have always had a fearsome resemblance to blueberry poptarts, which are not good (although strawberry poptarts are very very very good).

The bread that I love, that I worship, that I give as gifts not only to myself and those I admire, is banana bread. I am not wild about bananas as a fruit. They’re ok I guess, starchy and sweet and bland. They are edible, but they aren’t my favorite. But you mix them into a batter and bake them with nuts – they become something totally different.

The banana bread I love most comes from a lovely café about a mile from my home, and in order for me allow myself to eat it, I must walk the distance there. Of course I never do this, but I tell myself that this is going to happen sometime. I will allow myself that indulgence if I walk there as an aerobic absolution.

The banana bread is baked on site in the silent early morning hours of the baker/pastry chef. They always struck me as the ascetics of the food/wine world. Chefs and bartenders and waitstaff seem to lead the same lives as comedians and musicians. We are night workers. When the rest of the world gets off work, we are just starting so we can serve them. We deal in pleasure, the pleasure of others, and hopefully we take prodigious pleasure in ourselves from our professions.

But the bakers, the pastry chefs, the ones with the exact measurements and the icy hands, they have to get up early and get it going and get the dough rising before the world is rising. They are of the monastic stock that have no part in me, but its ironic because what they bring forth is the most decadent thing I can eat. Bread. I say it and I feel weak. Bread. I eat it and I am immediately guilty. Banana bread, I love you. Bakers and pastry chefs, I salute you.  I am going to walk to that café now.

Ps. Pumpkin bread is fucking good shit too.

10 Comments. Add To The Mix…

  1. Adore the Cho so so much, I wonder if its the pre menopausal thing that makes us adore bread I love all breads the picture of me on facebook is Barbara820 I kinda am 7 lbs over that maybe but I run I think Cho runs too… I just started 12 minutes a day then walk w/ the doggie… I am 54 read my blog under my name Dorothycatalano@yahooshine just google its sensational for all actor To stay offf the casting couch when you read YOU will know!

  2. You are awesome. Now that we have that out of the way, I must tell you that banana bread is cake. I thought I was reaching a new height of domesticity by baking banana “bread”, but then my husband informed me that it was really just cake. You really love cake. I’m sorry.

  3. When and if you ever get North on 101 above SF in Ukiah, …try Schatz the bakery on Perkins. All organic flours and good euro german breads. No business interest…just a fan. There’s jokes untold or discovered there. Immortalize them with your astute observations and spoken wit.

  4. Best Banana bread ever!! Very easy and healthy

    1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
    1/2 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener, Granulated (the stuff that looks almost like sugar, not the powder crap… or just use sugar, I’m sure that’s fine
    1 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1 pinch salt
    1 1/4 cups mashed bananas
    1 tbsp canola oil ) or melted butter.. which is better (I use alternates in recipes alot
    1/3 cup buttermilk
    2 tsp vanilla (make sure it’s extract, not artificial!!
    1/3 cup Pecans (most recipes says walnuts, I say screw that, go with walnuts)

    also great, add choco chips! as much as you like


    Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray (or butter) a 9 x 5 inch (23 x 13 cm) loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

    Blend the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.

    Add oil, buttermilk and vanilla to the mashed bananas. Mix well. Pour banana mixture into dry ingredients. Stir until just mixed. Add Pecans and choco chips . Stir until just mixed.

    Pour batter into prepared pan.
    Sprinkle extra pecans, chocochips and some plain ol’ uncooked oatmeal on top to make it pretty. Bake in preheated oven for 45-55 minutes or until rich brown and the centre is set.

    enjoy. It’s the best freggin nanabread ever

  5. Yes to pumpkin and banana bread. I also love light breads with crusty crusts – French Baquettes and Ciabatta bread especially with brie or other nice cheeses. Yummy. Great post!

  6. Banana bread!! Yes!! Totally agree.
    Pumpkin bread as well
    Rye bread, it’s like a punishment, “You should not eat foods that are enjoyable, it is a sin.”

    But for me, I like buttermilk bread, especially toasted.

  7. I’m the complete opposite. I LOVE sourdough and rye, especially that black, chunky whole rye that weighs a pound and crumbles like gravel. I hate sweets. Ironically, I am a genius at producing sweets like banana bread and challah. Here’s the deal: next time someone makes the mistake of giving you a savory bread, send it to me and I’ll make you a luscious banana bread and send it back to you!

  8. Of course the hands-down best thing about bread is the aroma of it baking. 🙂

    I can’t eat all different kinds of bread like I used to, without calories stacking up like cards, so I mostly settle for whole wheat with a little margarine. But I have great memories of banana bread and pumpkin bread–excellent all-purpose loaves that you could nibble on at any time.

    And spinach bagels.

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