Make Ahead

1970's Inspired Honey Banana Nut Bread

June 13, 2013
0 Ratings
  • Makes 2 loaves
Author Notes

When we travel, we generally bring breakfast with us to eat on the road. (We're those people who get up and hit the road at the crack of dawn.) This banana bread is inspired by the Banana Nut bread in the Tassajara Bread book, circa 1970. The Tassajara Zen Mountain Center in California is the oldest Japanese Buddhist Zen monastery in the United States. The book's author, Edward Espe Brown, writes of baking with heart, and not wasting food-- concepts that are also relevant today.

This is a moist, not super sweet, bread (that can also be made into muffins). Whole wheat flour and honey were staples of 1970’s healthy food movement, and here we are in 2013 (now 2015!) talking about needing a diet consisting of whole foods, fruit and limited sweets. (Fortunately, we’re not also listening to disco, wearing leisure suits or streaking!)

What You'll Need
  • 4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax meal
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) butter, melted
  • 1 cup honey
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • ~4 cups mashed banana pulp (from 5 large bananas)
  • 1 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans
  1. Heat oven to 350. While oven is heating, toast nuts and melt butter.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients until thoroughly blended.
  3. Brush a little melted butter into two loaf pans, then pour the rest into a very large bowl. Add honey and lemon zest, and beat in eggs until smooth. Alternate adding flour mixture with banana pulp, folding until smooth after each addition. Fold in chopped nuts.
  4. Divide batter between the two prepared loaf pans. Bake for 50-55 minutes until tester comes out dry. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pans.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Kayb
  • lapadia
  • susan g
    susan g
  • drbabs

6 Reviews

Kayb March 4, 2015
Well, I dunno....streaking was kind of fun.
drbabs March 4, 2015
I'm laughing so hard I can barely type this.
lapadia March 2, 2015
Inspiring recipe! One I somehow missed a few years back...
drbabs March 2, 2015
Thanks, Linda!
susan G. June 13, 2013
An inspiring book,important to me then, still important. I can't say 'thanks for all the fish,' but 'thanks for all the loaves' would fit. DrB, thanks for bringing it into the present. We need more of that, don't we?
drbabs June 14, 2013
Thanks, susan; yes, we definitely could use more gratitude . Have you seen the movie "how To Cook Your Life?" A little slow moving for my taste, but he's quite inspiring.