Banana Bread


Use those overripe bananas to make a quick bread that eats like cake.
TIME About 1 hour
MAKES 1 loaf (8 to 12 servings)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened, plus more for greasing the pan
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ cup sugar
2 eggs
3 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork until smooth
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chopped walnuts, optional


Method
1 Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan with enough butter to coat the bottom and sides.

2 Mix together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar in a large bowl.

3 Put the stick of butter in a medium bowl and beat it with a whisk (or an electric mixer) until creamy and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and bananas until well combined. Stir this mixture into the dry ingredients just enough to combine everything. Gently fold in the vanilla and the nuts if you’re using them.

4 Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until it’s browned on top and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out almost entirely clean. Cool the pan on a rack for 15 minutes, then carefully turn it upside down to release the loaf. Serve warm or at room temperature (or wrap in plastic and keep at room temperature for up to a couple days).

Variations
  • Whole Wheat Banana Bread: Substitute ½ cup whole wheat flour for ½ cup of the all-purpose flour.
  • 5 Substitutions for Walnuts

1 Chopped pecans
2 Chopped almonds
3 Raisins
4 Dried cranberries
5 Unsweetened shredded coconut

Tips
  • Banana bread is perfect for overripe fruit you wouldn’t dream of eating out of hand. The darker and softer—and the more brown spots—the better.

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