SUBSCRIBE NOW

Tracy Beckerman column: Let’s all go bananas

Tracy Beckerman
The Chronicle Express

Columns share an author’s personal perspective.

*****

For some strange reason, everyone jumped on the banana bread bandwagon this past spring.

In terms of fruit, I’m not sure why it was banana bread and not pineapple cake or apple pie. I’m actually much more of a peach person than a banana person, but who am I to call anyone bananas for wanting to make banana bread.

“Do you think I should make some banana bread?” I asked my husband.

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Do you think I should build a bookcase?”

“Why would you want to build a bookcase?” I asked him.

“Well, it seems as random as you asking me if you should make banana bread.”

I decided if I did make banana bread, he definitely wasn’t going to get any.

I was still on the fence about it two days later … until I saw someone post a picture online of fresh banana bread with chocolate chips. This was a game changer. I’m of the mind that everything is better with chocolate. I would eat a shoe if it had chocolate on it. Well, maybe not a shoe. But quite possibly a flip flop.

Since I’m gluten-free, I needed to find a way to adapt the recipe so it didn’t include wheat flour. I assumed that almond flour would make an okay substitute. But instead of finding a recipe for banana bread specifically using almond flour, I decided to just use a standard wheat flour recipe and swap the flours out. What could go wrong?

It would behoove me to mention here that I am not a great baker. When my daughter was little and she wanted to bake cookies with me, I would somehow either burn them to a hockey puck or underbake them so they were the consistency of mud. One time I forgot the sugar. Another time I accidentally used salt instead of sugar. And then there was the “Great Cookie Incident of 2007” when I dropped cookie dough on the floor, slipped on it and went shooting into the dining room on my back like I was in a luge competition.

Determined to make this work, I mixed all the ingredients together, poured it all into a loaf pan and stuck it in the oven. My mouth watered as I smelled the bananas cooking and the chocolate chips melting and I was confident I was going to have an amazing banana bread experience.

But when the timer went off and I stuck a toothpick into the loaf to see if it was done, it was still raw in the middle.

I figured the almond flour must need more time to cook than the wheat flour so I stuck the bread back in for another 10 minutes. Then 10 minutes more. Then another 10 minutes. Soon the outside of the bread started to burn and I gave up and pulled it out.

I waited a bit and then cut into it. The crust was like a rock and the inside was pure goo. It was less like banana bread and more like banana mush. The outside was inedible, but the inside seemed fine enough … if I was in the mood for chocolate chip banana stew.

My husband had been lingering nearby, enticed by the aroma of the baking banana bread. Apparently, he thought that he had squatters rights to some of the banana bread by virtue of the fact that he was living in the house with me.

“You made banana bread!” he said.

“I did.”

“How did it come out?” he asked.

“Pretty good,” I said.

“Can I have some?” he asked.

“Absolutely,” I nodded, handing him a plate. Then I opened the utensil drawer.

“But here … you’ll need a spoon.”

You can follow Tracy on Twitter @TracyBeckerman and become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LostinSuburbiaFanPage.