Ultimate Banana Bread

1¾ c (248 g) flour   whisk   stir fold put in prepared pan shingle sprinkle bake at 350°F 55–75 minutes, turning halfway cool 10 minutes in pan, then on rack
1 t baking soda
½ tsp salt
5 very ripe large bananas, peeled
(with bonus banana below should total about 1 kg)
cover and microwave until liquid is released, about 5 minutes drain 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, in a fine-mesh strainer. Collect juice (½–¾ c) collected juice reduce over medium-high heat to ¼ c mash whisk
drained bananas  
½ c (115 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled  
2 large eggs
¾ c packed (148 g) light brown sugar
1 t vanilla extract
½ c walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)  
1 additional large ripe banana, peeled (optional)  
2 t granulated sugar  
  1. Cover and microwave first 5 bananas about 5 minutes, until they are soft and have released their liquid.
  2. Drain bananas in fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl, stirring occasionally. After 15 minutes you should have between ½ and ¾ c liquid.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. Reduce collected banana juice over medium-high heat until you have about ¼ c.
  5. Mash reduced juice back into bananas.
  6. Whisk butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla into bananas.
  7. Barely stir flour mixture into banana mixture.
  8. Fold in walnuts, if using.
  9. Put the batter in a greased (or parchment papered) 8½″×4½″ loaf pan.
  10. If desired, shingle batter by layering 2 rows of banana slices down the pan, leaving a 1½″ gap in the middle. Keep banana slices away from edges of the pan, or they stick.
  11. Sprinkle sugar on top of batter.
  12. Bake at 350°F for 55–75 minutes, rotating pan halfway through the baking. Remove from oven when a toothpick inserted in the loaf comes out clean.
  13. Let loaf cool in pan for 10 minutes.
  14. Let load cool on rack for 1 hour before serving. Or cool completely and store at room temperature up to 3 days.

Variation: from frozen bananas (at least the first 5)

Instead of microwaving and draining fresh bananas, defrost frozen bananas in a fine mesh sieve over a bowl, collecting the liquid.

Shamelessly stolen from America's Test Kitchen Ultimate Banana Bread