Last week we purchased a beautiful bunch of bananas for the week and then promptly forgot about them, which means today they were perfect for banana bread. We had enough for two loaves - one for us and an extra for a grieving friend. Who doesn't feel a little better after a slice of home made banana bread?
While I have Gareth's grandmother's banana bread recipe, I opted for the recipe from The Joy of Cooking as the ancestral Dirlam recipe omits the quantity of bananas needed and how to prep them. I believe this was Edith's secret that she took to the grave with her, thus ensuring that no one else would be able to create her recipe.
The Joy of Cooking recipe is pretty straightforward and was easy to double. I'll provide the recipe for a single standard size loaf.
All ingredients need to be a room temperature. You will need:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
5 1/3 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 very ripe bananas, mashed
Move your oven rack to the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 350. Mash your bananas and set aside. Also, lightly beat your eggs with a fork and set those aside as well.
Combine your dry ingredients except the sugar, and set that aside also.
Cream together your butter and sugar like you would do for sugar cookies, using a mixer (or if you're old school, a wooden spoon). Once the butter and sugar are creamed, gently mix in your eggs.
Butter and sugar before
Butter and sugar after
Combine your wet ingredients to your dry ingredients and mix until blended. Then add your bananas and continue mixing until blended into a smooth batter. At this point, you can also fold in about 1/2 cup of nuts.
Pour the batter into a greased 8 1/2 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 for about an hour. The best way to determine if your bread is done is the toothpick test. If a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, it's done.
Let your loaf cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes before removing from the pan.