How to Make the Best Banana Bread Ever
It's Out-of-Control Delicious
When banana bread is good, it's a thing of beauty—moist, loaded with banana flavor, and perfectly sweet, with just hints of vanilla and cinnamon. I stole this recipe from my sister, who made better banana bread than I did, much as I hate to admit it. But once my kids kept saying, "Can you make Aunt Kelly's bread?", I knew I had to adapt.
I did tweak the recipe just a little bit. I added chopped pecans, although you could use walnuts if you like, or skip the nuts altogether. Pecans are just what I usually happen to have.
I love the real vanilla flavor of the vanilla extract. I haven't ever tried to use real vanilla bean, mainly because I think it would be lost here. The extract is perfect. Save your vanilla beans for something where they'll make more of a difference. The vanilla here enhances the banana flavor, not overwhelming it.
Make sure you also use very ripe, or even overripe bananas. A couple of tricks there - once the skins get dark or spotted, they're good to go. If your bananas aren't ready yet, you can try two tricks. Either freeze them for a few hours, then let them defrost. Or throw the whole bananas onto a baking sheet, and roast them at 350F° for about 20 minutes, or until the skins turn black and they begin to release juices.
I have to admit, a roasted banana is NOT pretty. But you'll get the most incredible flavor you've ever come across with this method. It's a great trick.
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 4 very ripe bananas
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 350º. Butter and flour a 9x5 loaf pan. Set aside.
- Beat together butter, sugar, and bananas. Stir in eggs, and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
- Mix in baking soda, salt, cinnamon, vanilla extract, and pecans. Stir well to combine.
- Mix in flour, stirring only until just combined. Don't overmix - overmixing quick breads like banana bread will make them tough.
- Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated 350F° oven for 60-70 minutes, or until a tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Cream Together Butter, Sugar and Bananas
Eggs for Moisture and to Give Lift
Enhancing Flavors: Vanilla, Cinnamon and Pecans
Mix Thoroughly Before Adding Flour
Add Flour and Stir Just To Moisten
Transfer Batter to a Prepared Pan
Bake Until Golden and Tester Comes out Clean
Allow to Cool Completely - If You Can
Wrap Well to Store
Check out the Quick Tutorial!
Make your Own Vanilla Extract!
© 2017 Jan Charles