04 February 2010

retro recipe: banana bread

In my cookbook library I have at least a dozen vintage cookbooks that I've bought or others have given me as gifts. I have a thing for old cookbooks - their flair and their illustrations. The latest retro recipe comes out of the Encyclopedic Cookbook published by the Culinary Arts Institute in Chicago in 1949. The color illustrations are amazing and the chapters include "Your Fine Art of Carving" and "Your Leftovers," as well as food facts and instructions on how to monogram and fold napkins.

The recipe for Banana Bread can be found on page 141 in the Quick Breads section. I made one substitution - using butter/margarine instead of shortening - but otherwise followed the recipe as written.

Banana Bread
From the Encyclopedic Cookbook (Culinary Arts Institute, 1949), p. 141

1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 cups sifted flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup nut meats, chopped

Cream shortening and sugar together. Beat eggs until light and add. Press bananas through sieve and add lemon juice. Blend with creamed mixture. Sift flour, baking powder and salt together and mix quickly into banana mixture. Add nuts. Bake in a greased loaf pan in a moderate oven (375 degrees F) about 1 1/4 hours. Makes 1 (1-pound) loaf.

Now, 375 degrees F seemed a little high to me, but not having a setting for "moderate" on my oven, I just went with it. I took the bread out when it looked done - i.e. nice and golden brown - but it was still raw in the middle.

Back it went into the oven until done in the middle (and lightly burned at the edges. No problem - just cut off the ends of the bread, discard, and enjoy the rest. Lesson learned: next time try a 350 degree F oven for more cooking and less burning. But otherwise, the bit of lemon juice added an acidity to the bread that I've not experienced before in other banana breads.

I'll be making this again, because as promised in the cookbook: "Your popularity will rapidly spread when you serve specialty fruit-nut bread."


PenelopeLovesLists said...

Looks good! I just made banana bread yesterday, but I cheated and made it from the Bisquick recipe. It's still good, but, is it tacky to cook with Bisquick? I do, but I've always wondered.

tamilyn said...

I have about 20 old (1970 and earlier) cookbooks. I like to read them just to see how life has changed-about the table settings, getting kids put down before husband gets home, have a drink ready......