My Favorite Banana Bread

I'm not sure how you feel today, but I'm looking for all the comfort I can find. And in our house, that means baking and cooking familiar things only, the recipes we return to time and again. This banana bread tops the list. The kids and I make it a few times a month during normal periods...it's where the bananas that brown before I can cram them into my smoothies find second life and where we find comfort and familiarity. Two things to hold onto these days

What makes this banana bread different? It's a proper quick bread loaf— dark and heavy—with a rich brown butter scent and a tender, soft crumb. We add bittersweet chocolate chips, but you could add any chocolate you like, or add nuts instead. 

Set your kids to the job of peeling the bananas and squishing them with a fork. By the time they finish, you'll have the rest done and ready for the fruit. Remember, you want the brown, speckled, and easily-smushable bananas. Nothing new or fresh here.

Happy baking.

Makes one 9-inch loaf

Ingredients

1-1/4c flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

3 ripe bananas

1/2 cup chocolate chips or nuts of choice (pecans are great!)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°.  Lightly grease a 9-inch loaf pan

In a large bowl, sift together the flour and baking soda.  In a separate bowl, cream the salt, butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one by one, beating well after each addition.  Add the vanilla and mashed-up banana.  Mix until just combined.

Fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined.  Fold in the chocolate chips or nuts.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to smooth out the top.  Bake until the top is dark golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out almost clean, about 1 hour. I usually bake for 50 minutes and then begin checking for doneness.

Cake will keep, wrapped tightly for 4 days.


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