Banana Bread

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Banana bread is my favorite thing to do with bananas. Growing up, we frequently had bananas laying around. If I just waited patiently, they'd get overripe, and we'd make banana bread. Moist, rich banana bread, warmed and buttered, makes a wonderful quick breakfast.

So, I bought some bananas last weekend, and tried to make muffins. It didn't turn out so well, but I did have some bananas left over that were quickly ripening, so I decided, why not, let's make some banana bread!

Overripened bananas (bananas that are almost completely brown) are the best for banana bread. If you don't want to wait for your bananas to get overripe, toss them in a paper bag to ripen them. Or, if you can't bake right away, toss them in the freezer until you're ready. When they thaw, they're perfect for baking with.

This is called a "quick bread", because it doesn't use yeast, and doesn't require a lengthy rising process. The bread does still take almost an hour to bake, and will take an hour or two to cool, so be sure to start it in the afternoon or early evening.

Ingredients

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 c. butter (melted)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c bananas, mashed (4-5 bananas)
  • 1 c. sugar

Optionally:

  • 1/4 c. chopped walnuts

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350° and grease the bottom and sides of a large loaf pan.

Combine all the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt) in a large bowl and mix together until evenly distributed.

In another bowl, melt the butter. In another, beat the eggs. In a final, large bowl, mash the bananas. Then, add the butter, eggs, and sugar with the bananas, and mix until combined.

Make a well in the bottom of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until moist. The batter will be lumpy. If desired, add the nuts now.

Pour batter into pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the bread comes out clean.

Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap in plastic and store overnight before serving.

Images

Baking usually ends up being

  1. Combine dry ingredients together
  2. Combine wet ingredients together
  3. Combine wet and dry ingredients together

Steps 1 and 2 might switch (like in cookies), but step 3 is always last. For this recipe, the dry combination comes first.

The wet ingredients are next. The sugar is added to the wet ingredients.

Finally, combine the two together.

Spread evenly in the greased pan and bake. The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (not wet with batter or lots of crumbs sticking to it).

Once the bread is done, it will need to cool for at least an hour, more likely two hours.

Then wrap it in an airtight container (or, as I did here, plastic wrap) and let it sit overnight before cutting.

I am extremely pleased with how this turned out. The crust is perfectly carmelized. The crumb is moist and flavorful. I certainly need to add cinnamon and nutmeg to that banana muffin recipe that disappointed.

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