We’ve all been there….
What a shame. What a pity.
Good bananas gone bad.
I swear that there is some sort of anti-banana vortex over my kitchen. I can bring home bananas that are practically green and by the next day, they’re ripe. Two days? Forget about it.
The upside of all of this banana ripening chaos?
This is my mom’s recipe. Simple, easy and delicious.
Here’s what you need:
Ripe bananas, Flour, Sugar, 2 eggs, butter, baking powder, baking soda, salt, walnuts (regular or black)*.
*I think that the secret to really tasty banana bread is in the nuts. Of course you can use whatever nuts you prefer – pecans, walnuts, black walnuts are all good. Or you can even forget the nuts entirely if they aren’t your thing.
However, if you’ve never used black walnuts, you’re in for a treat.
Maybe it’s a Midwest thing, but I think black walnuts are divine. They have more flavor than regular walnuts. I can find them in my regular old store so you probably won’t need to go searching high and low. Look for them on the baking aisle.
I’m using a mixer, but you can always make this bread with a hand mixer or mixing by hand.
Pre-heat the oven to 300 degrees.
For this recipe (and most baking) your butter MUST be softened and at room temperature so remember to take it out of the fridge an hour or so before you begin baking.
Mix the softened butter with 1 cup of sugar and 2 eggs in a mixer or large bowl.
Sorry, for some reason the eggs didn’t make it to the photo shoot.
Cream them together until they are smooth and a light yellow color.
In a small bowl, mash up the bananas. I use about 4 bananas which makes about 1.5 cups. You can smash them up with a fork or I like to use my potato masher. The potato masher also works great for guacamole.
When they are all nice and mushed up, add them to the buter/sugar/egg mixture and mix them in.
In a separate bowl, sift 2 cups flour with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and 1 teaspoon baking powder.
Remember to level off your dry ingredients when you measure. This includes the flour as well as the baking soda and baking powder.
Sifting helps to remove any lumps and also helps to distribute the leavening agents (the guys that make the bread rise) throughout the batter.
Sift, sift, sift. Press gently on any little bits left in the sifter or strainer to push them through.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter/banana mixture.
Mix only until the flour has been incorporated into the batter. Do not over mix or your bread will be tough and dry.
Stir in 1/2 -1 cups of chopped nuts. I like nuts (especially black walnuts) so I used 1 cup.
Let’s talk about baking pans. I have a large loaf pan and also have a set of small bread pans. My mom even used to bake this bread in coffee cans or soup cans.
I’m using the small pans because (1) they’re cute, (2) I can freeze some of the extra loaves that we won’t eat right away, (3) if I want to be nice, I can give a loaf or 2 away, and (4) I have something FABULOUS to make in the big loaf pan.
Here’s a hint: it involves bananas and chocolate and is completely ridiculous.
If you want to be able to remove your bread from the pans, it is VERY important to grease them. I’m using a little Crisco but you could certainly also use butter. Butter is good. Butter is our friend.
Smear the butter or Crisco all around the inside of the pan. Don’t forget the corners and the sides.
Pour the batter into the greased pans. Try to divide it as evenly as possible if you’re using the small pans.
Bake the pans of banana bread at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes for small pans and about 1 hour – 1 hour fifteen minutes for the large pan.
The bread is done when it is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.
This smells so good. But you must wait! Allow the bread to rest in the pans for 5- 10 minutes. Then run a small knife or plastic spatula around the edges to loosen, invert the pan and remove the bread to a wire rack to cool.
Ugly, over-ripe bananas — they’re not just for smoothies anymore!
Go bake this bread. Be nice and give some to someone you love.
Here’s the recipe!