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Dog Versus Banana Bread

by Lori on January 5th, 2011

Banana Bread Sliced

Find out who wins in this amazing story about a battle of the wills between a girl who simply wants to enjoy a movie and an agile dog looking for adventure, while a loaf of banana bread gets caught in the middle. Also discover a fabulous recipe for making chocolate chunk toasted walnut banana bread along the way.

The Story

Our first house was a small ranch built in the 1940s. What sold us on it was the large, eat-in kitchen one of the previous owners had built on as an addition. Shortly after moving in, we also bought a new gas oven and refrigerator, which stood proudly, side-by-side in that kitchen.

One weekend morning, I wandered into the kitchen and found some highly ripened bananas. I baked a loaf of banana bread in my new oven and placed it on a hot mitt on top of the new refrigerator to cool.

Later that afternoon, we went to a movie. When we returned home, the 35-pound, terrier mix we adopted from the pound several months earlier happily greeted us at the door as if nothing were out of the ordinary.

Snow Dog
Don’t let the innocent-looking face fool you. When this picture was taken, he had just finished eating snow. He’d rather be eating banana bread.

When we walked into the kitchen, we were greeted by a glass baking dish and loaf of banana bread in the middle of the floor. Then I looked at our beautiful new gas stove. It had a big chip in the enamel finish on top where the dish hit.

Fortunately, the glass dish hadn’t broken, and the dog wasn’t injured. We also were lucky he didn’t kick on the burners when he jumped on the stove to get the bread. For some reason, he hadn’t eaten the banana bread either. Maybe it wasn’t good, or the crash spooked him.

The Moral of the Story

Always let your banana bread cool in a safe place (and out of the reach of pets and children).

About the Recipe

Banana Bread Recipe
This is not the same recipe I made the day of the Dog versus Banana Bread incident. It is one from a family cookbook that my mother-in-law gave me one Christmas, a few years later. The book included a hand-written recipe for banana bread from Ken’s great aunt, Maude. I’m not sure where Maude got the recipe, but she had a few twists in it I found interesting:

  • Maude used shortening instead of butter. I think this makes the bread less greasy.
  • Maude dissolved the baking soda in warm water before adding it to the batter. I think this is why this particular banana bread rises so much higher than others I’ve tried.

I also added a few twists of my own:

  • Maude used a whole cup of white sugar. I reduced the white sugar by half and added half a cup of brown sugar. I got the idea from a Banana Banana Bread recipe on Allrecipes. I think it gives the bread a richer flavor.
  • Maude didn’t specify what kind of nuts to use. I used walnuts that I had toasted in butter in my cast iron skillet.
  • Maude didn’t add any chocolate. I think everything in life is better with chocolate. So, I chopped up five Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares and added them to the batter with the nuts.

The Cast of  Characters

Chocolate, Nuts and Bananas

Bananas, Ghirardelli dark chocolate, and walnuts are the stars of this show. For the complete list of ingredients, skip ahead to the recipe.

The Play-by-Play

Before you begin, grease your loaf pan, and preheat the oven. If using a glass pan, preheat to 330. If using a tin pan, preheat to 320.

Mash three ripened bananas, a half cup shortening, a half cup white sugar and a half cup brown sugar with a potato masher.
Mashing Bananas

Then mix with a wooden spoon until creamy.
Mixing Banana Bread Batter

Stir two beaten eggs into the batter.
Adding Egg

Sift together two cups flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and stir into the batter about a half cup at a time.
Sifting Flour

Add one teaspoon baking soda dissolved in one tablespoon water, one teaspoon vanilla, a half cup chopped nuts and five squares chopped chocolate (about half a cup). Stir all the ingredients together.
Adding Chocolate and Walnuts

Pour the batter into a loaf pan, and bake for one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Banana Bread in the Oven

Let cool on a wire rack (and out of the reach of pets and children) for about 30-60 minutes.
Banana Bread Out of the Oven

Cut yourself a slice. Put it on a plate. Enjoy!
Banana Bread on Plate

The Footnotes

  • About the chocolate: I used Ghirardelli dark chocolate, only because I am hooked on it since our last trip to San Francisco. You can use whatever chocolate you like.
  • About the pan and the cooking temperature: Maude had noted the recipe worked best in a tin pan, and instructed baking it at 320 degrees. I have a glass pan, so I adjusted the temperature to 330 degrees.
  • About the mixing: Aunt Maude mixed the batter by hand, using only a potato masher, wooden spoon and a lot of elbow grease. I debated on using my stand mixer, but opted to try it Aunt Maude’s way by hand. It wasn’t hard, but I bet you could use a stand mixer too.

The Recipe: Chocolate Chunk Toasted Walnut Banana Bread Recipe

Baking Time:
1 hour

Servings:
1 loaf

Ingredients:
3 medium bananas
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 well-beaten eggs
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon of warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup toasted walnut pieces
5 Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares with 60% cacao (0.375 ounces each), chopped

Instructions:

  1. Grease loaf pan, and preheat the  oven to 330 degrees if using a glass loaf pan or 320 if using a tin one.
  2. Mash the bananas, shortening and sugars with a potato masher, and then beat by hand with a wooden spoon until creamy.
  3. Stir the beaten eggs into the batter.
  4. Sift together the flour and salt, and stir into the batter about a half cup at a time.
  5. Add the baking soda dissolved in water, vanilla, toasted nuts and chopped chocolate to the batter. Stir until all the ingredients are mixed well together. Then pour into loaf pan.
  6. Bake for one hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  7. Cool on a wire rack for about 30-60 minutes, and keep an eagle eye on any nearby pets.

Do you have a pet that drives you bananas? Did they ever eat your banana bread?

2 Comments
  1. Cute story and great post! I love chocolate in my banana bread too and I also like that you added brown sugar to the recipe- I think I’ll have to try that soon!

    • Thanks! Glad you liked the story – and hope you like the banana bread. I really liked it with the brown sugar in it.

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