This is my favorite recipe for a simple, old-fashioned banana bread. No glaze, no chocolate, no streusel topping. And not overly sweet. I discovered this recipe in college in what's come to be one of my favorite baking books, Nigella Lawson's How To Be A Domestic Goddess. I've changed it up only slightly by omitting the 1/2 cup of bourbon soaked raisins, which aren't necessarily a bad thing, but Sam prefers it without, and I'm a little uptight about feeding them to a toddler. I know a lot of people prefer quick breads like this one warm out of the oven, but I think it's so much better the following day and even a couple days after, once all the flavors have settled. Completely up to you.
Still on baby watch, and everyone's been sick around here except for me. Stay tuned!
Nigella Lawson's Banana Bread
1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
4 small or 3 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 325. Coat a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray. Measure the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a medium-sized bowl and combine well.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the melted butter and sugar until well blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, and then the mashed bananas. Next stir in the walnuts and vanilla. Gently fold in the flour mixture, one third at a time, stirring just enough to incorporate the flour, but not too much or your bread will be rubbery.
3. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and bake on the middle rack of your oven for 60-75 minutes (mine was done at 60 minutes). You'll know when it's done when you insert a sharp knife or toothpick in the center and it comes out with hardly any crumbs clinging to it.
4. Let cool on a cooling rack at least 15 minutes before attempting to slice. Leave in the pan and store covered, at room temp.