Ultimate Banana bread
Makes 1 loaf
Note: Be sure to use very ripe, heavily speckled (or even black) bananas for this recipe. The texture is best when the loaf is eaten fresh, but once cooled completely, it can be covered tightly with plastic wrap and stored for up to three days.
1 ¼ cups (8 ¾ ounces) all-purpose flour (or one to one gluten free mix)
1-teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
6 very ripe bananas (2 ¼ pounds), peeled
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (or olive oil if allergic)
2 large eggs
¾ cup packed (5 ¼ ounces) light brown sugar
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
½ cup walnuts, chocolate chips chopped (optional)
1.Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8 ½ by 4-½ inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
2.Place 5 bananas in separate bowl, cover and microwave until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer bananas to fine- mesh strainer over medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, for 15 min (you should have ½ to ¾ cup liquid).
3. Transfer to medium saucepan and cook over medium – high heat until reduced to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes. Return drained bananas to bowl. Remove pan from heat, stir reduced liquid into bananas, and mash with potato masher until mostly smooth. Whisk in melted butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.
4. Pour banana mixture into dry ingredients and stir until just combined, with some strokes of flour remaining. Gently fold walnuts, if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Shingle banana slices on top of the loaf in 2 rows, leaving 1 ½ inch –wide space down center to ensure even rise, Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over loaf.
5. Bake until toothpick inserted in the center of loaf comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1-¼ hours, rotating pan halfway through baking. Let loaf cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and let cool for 1 hour before serving