Banana Bread

Recipe: Banana Bread
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Baked Goodies
Ingredients
  • 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 6 large very ripe bananas
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla paste (You can dial back on this and just use a teaspoon of vanilla extract, if you want. I really like the extra vanilla flavor and use a heavy hand with the paste.)
  • ½ cup pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prep 8-1/2 x 4-1/2 loaf pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. (I use Trader Joe's Coconut Oil Cooking Spray.)
  2. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. Peel 5 of the bananas and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer bananas to fine-mesh strainer placed over medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes. You'll have ½ to ¾ cup.
  4. Transfer liquid to medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to ¼ cup. While the liquid is reducing, toss the 5 bananas into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle beater. Start the mixed and let it do the work of mashing the bananas. Remove pan from heat and pour the reduced liquid into the mashed bananas. Add butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. Continue beating the mixture until light and fluffy.
  5. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined. Gently fold in pecans. Scrape batter into prepared pan and spread it until level. Slice remaining banana diagonally into ¼-inch-thick slices. Shingle banana slices on top of either side of loaf, leaving 1½-inch-wide space down center to ensure even rise. Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over loaf.
  6. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 55 to 75 minutes. Cool bread in pan on wire rack 15 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and continue to cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
If your bananas aren't quite ripe enough and you're as impatient as I am, you can force the issue a bit. Put unpeeled bananas in a 13 x 9 baking pan and pop them into a 300 degree oven for around 30 minutes.

I have also made this bread using coarsely chopped chocolate instead of pecans, as seen in the picture above. Not bad but I think the version with nuts was better.

Adapted slightly from Cook's Illustrated.