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Banana Bread Recipes for the most part are 'quick breads’ that are leavened with baking powder. Quick breads (chemically leavened) which most banana bread recipes are were not developed until the end of the 18th century. This took place in America, where pearlash was discovered. Pearlash is a refined form of potash, and it produces carbon dioxide gas in dough. Baking powder was not developed commercially until 1857 (phosphate baking powder). So the banana bread as we know it (a quick bread) could have been first made in America in the 18th century when housewives discovered pearlash as a chemical leavening agent.