Banana Bread is so lovely! It's equally delicious warm or cold, you can freeze it and bring out the foil-wrapped treasure later to cheers and parades, and it is the ultimate welcome for guests or comfort for ailing friends.
Bring this bread to a friend in the days after she welcomes a wee babe into the world and you are in for life.
You are an amazing friend.
The problem with most recipes for banana bread is that they are too dense, too dry, not banana-y enough, or lack the all-important pecans.
Tyler Florene has cracked the code.
This bread is luscious. Incredibly moist, flavorful, tender, perfectly pecaned, and when paired with my cinnamon vanilla butter, glorious!
The Banana Bread
Here's what you need!
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 overripe bananas
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
And here's what you do:
Preheat oven to 350F degrees F.
Lightly grease and flour a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together for a good 3 minutes; you want a light and fluffy banana cream. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla; beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated; no need to overly blend. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Give the pan a good rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.
Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Don't get nervous if the banana bread develops a crack down the center of the loaf; that's no mistake, it's typical. Rotate the pan periodically to ensure even browning.
Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes or so, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Cinnamon Vanilla Honey Butter
Here's what you need:
1 stick of salted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste OR the scrapings of one vanilla bean
Here's what you do:
Toss your butter into your mixer bowl, making sure it is fully at room temperature so that it blends smoothly. Add honey, cinnamon, and vanilla bean paste and blend. If your butter was unsalted, add a small pinch of salt. Taste mix for balance and add a tablespoon of powdered sugar if needed.
*This compound butter recipe is fun to play with! Replace the cinnamon with pumpkin pie spice for a beautiful butter for pumpkin bread. You can also press it into beautiful little molds to make pretty shapes to serve along with your bread. It's fun to serve to your guests with warm breads for breakfast. Make it your own! Have fun!*