The Daley Question

Going bananas for missing bread recipe?

Try, then tweak, this popular version

Bananas for banana bread recipe

Bananas for banana bread recipe (Antonio Perez/ Chicago Tribune)

Q: I was scouring Google and the web for my favorite banana bread recipe that I think my husband accidentally threw in the trash. I won't make another banana bread without it!

The recipe made one loaf and the pan was coated in sugar and cinnamon — the top of the bread also had a cinnamon sugar coating. Please help me replace my family favorite banana bread recipe!

—Faith Mantooth, Westmont

A. I wish I could help! As you surely discovered by now, there are a lot of banana bread recipes out there — and I have no idea which one is your family favorite. What would be useful here is some sort of idea of where the recipe came from: Cookbook, magazine, family member or friend. Then, I could try to narrow it down for you.

Still, I don't want to leave you empty-handed.

While you say you won't make another banana bread without that recipe, maybe I can tempt you with this one for "Banana Banana Bread" from Allrecipes.com.

The recipe website is marking its 15th anniversary with its "Top Recipes of All Time" — "all time" meaning from 1997 to 2012 in this case. At No. 2, with 13.5 million pageviews, is this banana bread recipe from one Shelley Albeluhn.

"Why compromise the banana flavor?'' she is quoted as saying on the Allrecipes.com recipe page. "This banana bread is moist and delicious with loads of banana flavor! Friends and family love my recipe and say it's by far the best! It's wonderful toasted! Enjoy!"

Try this recipe. You might be pleasantly surprised. It holds a 4.5-star rating on Allrecipes.com and has been reviewed 6,975 times by readers.

Once you've made this banana bread, analyze it carefully. Smell it. Taste it. Hold it in your hand. Then think — how does Albeluhn's recipes differ from yours — and how is it the same? And, then start tweaking the recipe to make it "yours," maybe even adding your own dusting of sugar and cinnamon. That's the fun of baking — experiment!

(P.S. Curious to know which recipe is the No. 1 recipe from Allrecipes.com? "World's Best Lasagna" with 14 million pageviews.

Banana banana bread

Prep: 15 minutes. Cook: 1 hour, 5 minutes Makes: 12 servings

An Allrecipes.com recipe from Shelley Albeluhn.

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

2 1/3 cups mashed overripe bananas

1.Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Combine flour, baking soda, salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended. Stir banana mixture into flour mixture; stir just to moisten. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

2.Bake in a 350-degree oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack.

Do you have a question about food or drink? E-mail Bill Daley at: wdaley@tribune.com. Snail mail inquiries should be sent to: Bill Daley, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 60611. Twitter @billdaley.

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