Banana Bread–Best Ever

BANANA BREAD
It seems to me that no matter how many bananas I buy, some will always become overripe before they’ve been eaten. I’ve even tried the trick I read about somewhere on the internet to cover the top of the stems with plastic wrap which is supposed to keep the bananas fresher longer. I don’t know if that works or not but once again, I was faced with either throwing the super ripe bananas out or making bread or muffins with them. I decided to just see what recipe I had in one of my many cookbooks and found this Banana Bread recipe in my Better Homes and Gardens “New Cook Book Celebrating the Promise, Limited Edition” October 2007. I have to say this is the best banana bread I’ve ever made. I pretty well followed the recipe. Any changes or notes will appear at the end of the recipe.

Banana Bread

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
1/1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 eggs beaten
1/1/2 cups mashed ripe banana (5 medium)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cooking oil or melted butter or margarine
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 recipe Streusel-Nut topping (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides of a one 9x5x3 inch or two 7 1/2×3 1/2×2 inch loaf pans; set aside. In a large bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Make a well in center of flour mixture; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl combine eggs, banana, sugar and oil. Add egg mixture all at one to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in walnuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan(s). If desired, sprinkle Streusel-Nut Topping over batter in pans.
  3. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes for 9x5x4 inch pan or 40 to 45 minutes for a 7 1/2 x 3 1/2×2 inch pan or until a wooden toothpick inserted near center comes out clean (if necessary, cover loosely with foil the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent overbrowning). Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pan. Cool completely on rack. Wrap; store overnight before slicing.

Streusel-Nut Topping
Directions: In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup packed brown sugar and 3 tablespoons all purpose flour. Using a pastry blender, cut in 2 tablesppons buttr until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stire in 1/2 cup chopped walnuts.

Notes
I tend to never use a separate bowl for mixing wet ingredients into dry ingredients. I’ve never known the reason for this and since I’ve never done it, I haven’t seen any adverse affects. So that was my first change. Mix the dry ingredients, then mix the wet into the dry.

I didn’t measure my bananas, I just used the three large ones I had.

I used pecans instead of walnuts. My husband loves pecans.

Love, love, love the Streusel-Nut Topping. I don’t remember if I put the 3 tablespoons of flour in or not, but I do remember I put in 3 tablespoons of margarine instead of two. Obviously, I read those directions wrong.

As far as testing for doneness, until you have some uber-odd 4″ long toothpick, I’d advise using a wooden skewer or something similar to test for doneness. My tooth pick came out clean; however, after cutting, I found the very bottom center was not quite done. It didn’t detract from the taste though.

This is a very sweet recipe, and for me, that’s never a problem. If you don’t like really sweet desserts, I’d cut down a little on the sugar.

Oh, yes, and we didn’t wait until the next day to cut it. As soon as it was cool….

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