Best Ever Banana Bread
I have a problem with bananas, I buy them with the best of intentions to eat them and then I never do. But alas when life hands you bananas that look like an alien autopsy, you make banana bread! I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect recipe and upon Googling best banana bread ever, I came across Julia Moskin's recipe for Banana Banana Bread in the New York Times. It has a perfect 5 Star Rating with over 1800 reviews and I can see why, it is indeed the best banana bread ever - soft and spongy, not too sweet but loaded with banana flavor. It uses 5 large ripe bananas (which was perfect since that is exactly how many I needed to use up) and you really need to make sure they are at the stage where they look like a scary science experiment on your countertop.
Don’t over mix the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients otherwise your bread will be heavy and definitely don’t skip the crunchy topping even though it is optional (unless of course you have a nut allergy).
FOR THE BREAD
¼ pound cool butter (1 stick), more for greasing pan
¾ cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
2 ⅓ cups very ripe bananas (about 5)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
FOR THE TOPPING
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts or pecans (I used sliced almonds)
1 tablespoon granulated or coarse sugar
⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Using electric mixer, cream butter until smooth and fluffy. Add sugar and cream together 2 minutes more. One at a time, mix in eggs. Mix in bananas until only small lumps remain.
Stir dry ingredients together and mix into banana mixture just until combined. Pour into prepared pan. If making topping, stir ingredients together and sprinkle over batter.
Bake about 55 to 65 minutes (my oven took 55 minutes), until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and let cool completely before wrapping tightly for storage.