It's official! I'm celebrating 20 years of making this easy banana bread recipe. Here's where my recipe has popped up in the last twenty years of my life..
Midnight study snack during college...Out of a toaster oven in humid Hong Kong...In a wok baked with steam...Delivered to new moms...Shared with neighbors...Flown on an airplane for summer vacation...Taken out of the freezer for an emergency meal...Doorbell ditched at a strangers...Served at a baby shower...Most often enjoyed by my kids for breakfast...And now, shared with my favorite readers!
This is one of those recipes I don't have to read. I can whip it up before my oven has preheated and it makes two perfect loaves of bread. One for us and one for you (or another one for us!)
What's the trick? Use your bananas when they've first earned their brown freckles like a giraffe, but before they've molted to black like a dead spider. You should be able to peel the gently ripened banana easily without a lot of strings. The fruit will still be slightly firm without a lot of bruising.
Easy Banana Bread
3/4 cup butter, melted (1 1/2 sticks)
2 cups granulated sugar
4-5 large, ripe bananas, mashed
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, cream softened butter and sugar together until light-colored and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time and blend completely. On a large plate, mash bananas until no large pieces remain. Add to bowl and mix well. Add vanilla. Sift together flour, soda and salt. With mixer on low, slowly add dry ingredients until completely mixed.
Prepare two large loaf pans (9x5-inch) or 6 to 8 mini loaf pans by spraying with quick-release baking spray (Baking Pam). Fill pans two-thirds full and bake for 40-45 minutes. Smaller loaf pans will bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Bread will be a medium brown color. Let cool completely before slicing.
Makes approximately 15, 1/2-inch slices per large loaf.
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