Chai Walnut Banana Loaf hits all the right notes for a sweet bread (often called a quick bread since there is no need to wait for the yeast to rise). Right off the bat, if you haven’t already, make some Chai spice by clicking on the hyperlink here. The chai spice adds a wonderful fragrance and warm spice to this bread.
The addition of Walnuts to the recipe adds additional flavor and texture to each slice. Be sure to toast the walnuts before adding them to the Chai Walnut Banana Loaf batter. Toasting the walnuts adds a deeper depth of flavor.
These deep flavors do not hint at banana loaf’s flavorful humble beginnings. Three events combined to bring us to the recipe we have today. Refrigeration made it possible to transport bananas to market before they spoiled. Additionally, the wide availability on baking soda and baking powder allowed the development of quick breads that didn’t require yeast and a lengthy wait for a yeasted dough to rise.
Finally, nothing went to waste during the great depression. There was a need a use for the time when bananas became over-ripe. If you want a deeper dive into the evolution of Chai Walnut Banana Loaf, the fine folks over at King Arthur Flour ® have created a post that you can read here.
Chai Walnut Banana Bread
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon chai spice (Note: see link in post)
- 1/3 cup shortening
- 2/3 cup table sugar
- 2 eggs at room temperature
- 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 medium size bananas)
- 1/2 cup toasted coarsely chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease a 9-inchx5-inchx3-inch loaf pan.
- Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chai spice together.
- In a medium bowl or the work bowl of a stand mixer, cream shortening with the sugar.
- Add eggs and beat until fluffy (about 4 minutes).
- Slowly blend in flour mixture alternately with bananas until smooth and no dry streaks remain.
- Fold in walnuts.
- Add batter to prepared pan.
- Bake 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool in pan 10 minutes.
- Remove to wire rack and cool overnight before slicing.