Last week a few of mine tweeted about the heavenly smell of banana bread baking in their kitchen (ahem, Kate!). I decided that I would make some banana bread as soon as I got home from work since I already had some ripe bananas that I needed to use. I ended up making five loaves of banana nut bread within a couple of days.
Here's my recipe:
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup (4 sticks) butter or margarine
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1 cup (I don't actually measure) chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease two 9x5 loaf pans
Sift the flour, salt and baking soda into a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix together the butter and sugar until smooth. Stir in the bananas, eggs and walnuts until well blended. Pour the wet ingredients in to the dry mixture and stir until just blended. Divide the batter between the two load pans.
Bake for 60-70 minutes in the preheated oven. Let the loaves cool in the pans for at least 5 minutes, then turn them out on to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Wrap in aluminium foil to keep in the moisture. Ideally, you'll want to refrigerate the loaves for a few hours before serving.(Pardon my uneven slicing. Apparently my cutting skills leave a little something to be desired.)
Let me share a little secret with you about my method for mashing the bananas. I used to enlist the help of my son because I didn't want banana all over my fingers. Since he's 9 now, he's not as willing to come help me with my banana situation. What I've discovered is that I can toss my bananas in the food processor and pulse it for a bit and ta da, I've got mashed bananas and minimal mess on me.
Additionally, you could use whatever nuts you prefer in this recipe. I usually have walnuts on hand so I tend to use them. You could use pecans or some other nut if you don't have walnuts, though. I also usually toss in a splash of vanilla extract but you don't have to add it if you don't want to. I happen to like vanilla in most baked goods.