Ultimate Banana Bread
|1¾ c (248 g) flour
||put in prepared pan
||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)
||reduce over medium-high heat to ¼ c
|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
- Cover and microwave first 5 bananas about 5 minutes, until they are soft and have released their liquid.
- Drain bananas in fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl, stirring occasionally. After 15 minutes you should have between ½ and ¾ c liquid.
- Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- Reduce collected banana juice over medium-high heat until you have about ¼ c.
- Mash reduced juice back into bananas.
- Whisk butter, eggs, sugar, and vanilla into bananas.
- Barely stir flour mixture into banana mixture.
- Fold in walnuts, if using.
- Put the batter in a greased (or parchment papered) 8½″×4½″ loaf pan.
- 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.
- Sprinkle sugar on top of batter.
- 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.
- Let loaf cool in pan for 10 minutes.
- 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