This banana bread is "number one" to me. I used to throw banana bread away after the first couple slices, since it never lived up to my expectations. I save the last sliver of this one, carefully wrapped in plastic, and savor the last bite. The loaf bakes up evenly in the pan, making less of a peaked top. I believe it is the 3 eggs that does this. You will not find a gummy center in the middle of this loaf. Look on the Williams Sonoma website for a photo. To ensure consistency I use very ripe bananas and measure them mashed.
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed (1-1/2 cups measured)
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1⁄2 cup buttermilk (you can substitute "homemade" by letting milk plus tablespoon vinegar set for 10 minutes)
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fresh nutmeg (or 1/2 tsp. dried- I use about 1/2 fresh) (optional)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 3⁄4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- Preheat an oven to 350°F.
- Grease and lightly flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute.
- Add the bananas and eggs and beat until smooth. Add the buttermilk and beat just until combined.
- In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, nutmeg, salt and nuts.
- Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and beat just until combined.
- The batter should be slightly lumpy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake until the loaf is dark golden brown and dry to the touch and the edges pull away from the sides of the pan, 55 to 60 minutes.
- A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
- Let the bread rest in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Cut into thick slices to serve. Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf.
- Storage Tip: Wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.