Moist and delicious banana bread loaded with tons of banana flavor! This is the only banana bread recipe you’ll ever need. Packed full of mashed bananas, cinnamon and crunchy toasted walnuts. When I first saw this recipe and saw how many bananas it called for I knew that it would be a hit. Many banana bread recipes only use about 3 bananas total, but with this recipe 6 are used! You read that right-6 bananas! In order to use so many bananas in the recipe without it turning into pudding, the excess moisture needed to be removed. In order to achieve the most banana flavor the bananas are heated in the microwave to release their juices. The banana juice is then reduced resulting in a concentrated banana liquor intensifying the banana flavor without making the bread too wet.
Ultimate Banana Bread
- 1 ¾ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 large very ripe bananas (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter , melted and cooled slightly
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8½ by 4½-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.
- Spread the walnuts onto a baking sheet and place in preheated oven 5-7 minutes until fragrant. Shake the baking sheet halfway through baking so the nuts will toast evenly. Remove nuts from oven and set aside to cool completely.
- In a large microwave-safe bowl, place 5 bananas in the bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cut several steam vents in the plastic wrap with a paring knife. Microwave on high power until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer bananas to fine-mesh strainer placed over medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes (you will have ½ to ¾ cup liquid).
- Transfer banana liquid to a medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to ¼ cup, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir reduced liquid into bananas, and mash until somewhat smooth. Whisk in butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla.
- Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined with some streaks of flour remaining. Gently fold in walnuts. Scrape batter into prepared pan and smooth surface with a spatula.. Slice remaining banana into ¼-inch-thick slices. Place banana slices on top of either side of loaf, leaving 1½-inch-wide space down center to ensure an even rise. Sprinkle loaf with granulated sugar.
- Bake in preheated oven 55-60 minutes until golden brown or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool bread in pan on wire rack 15 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and continue to cool on wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store leftovers at room temperature wrapped in plastic wrap.
Yields: One 9-Inch Loaf
Source: adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, July 2010