Bad Bread, Good Bread
Recently, I wrote to a friend about a banana bread I baked that turned out like a brick. I made it on a Thursday afternoon, then brought some to another friend Friday morning thinking it would be a nice snack on our way to an estate sale. I kind of knew it was not right, but I hadn't tried it yet. She politely evaded the task of sampling it without even saying a word. Or maybe she said, "Oh. It didn't rise," as I uncovered the dense, greyish block. It was actually funny in a not-laughing-out-loud sort of way. There it sat in the back seat of the car, ensconced in paper toweling, behind us, heavy, getting denser every second. A little bit later that morning I wondered aloud if maybe I should cut it into planks and bake it a second time, like you do with biscotti? A day later? I think it's this economy that has me thinking wildly frugal thoughts. After I got home I looked down the list of ingredients and realized I had forgotten the baking soda -- a crucial ingredient. No baking soda doth a hard bread make. Amazing how one little half teaspoon of something can really foul up a bread. However, here we have the lovely, fully risen, wonderfully good banana bread that I made a few days after the dreadful one. Baking soda included.