Secrets to the Best Banana Walnut Bread

I have yet to meet a person who does not enjoy a delicious banana cake or bread. This recipe is easy and reliable as I have been using it for years now. The result is always the same, and it is this consistency that makes this recipe a reliable one to use every time. Its versatility can be suited to one’s taste. Feel free to use other types of tree nuts such as hazelnuts, pecans, almonds, and even macadamia! I added some chocolate chips once, and some people liked it, but I think it just makes it too rich and distracts from the banana flavor. I want to enjoy the unique banana taste ūüôā and I think you will, too…

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8¬†tablespoons¬†(1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1¬†cup¬†granulated sugar
  • 2¬†large eggs
  • 1/4¬†cup¬†milk
  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†vanilla extract
  • 3¬†medium bananas, very ripe
  • 2¬†cups¬†all-purpose flour
  • 1¬†teaspoon¬†baking soda
  • 1/4¬†teaspoon¬†salt
  • Optional -1 cup of walnuts, chopped coarsely

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat the oven to 350¬įF¬†and prep the pan by rubbing butter on the surface .¬†Arrange the oven rack in the bottom third of the oven. Line an 8×5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper at the bottom. ¬†If using nuts, cut them to coarse pieces and put 2/3 in the batter and 1/3 on top.
  2. Melt the butter in the microwave or over low heat on the stovetop.  For a more cake-like banana bread, soften the butter (but do not melt) and cream it with the sugar using a mixer (in the next step) until creamy.
  3. Add the eggs one by one. Crack the eggs into the bowl. Fold the mixture smooth.
  4. Add the milk and vanilla and continue to whisk into a thick batter.
  5.  Peel the bananas and mash them in a bowl. Keep the bananas on the chunky side for a richer banana taste or as smoother for a more cakey texture.
  6. Add the flour, baking soda, and salt using a 1/4 cup at a time. Using a spatula, gently fold until the ingredients are  combined and no more dry flour is visible.
  7. Fold in the 2/3 cups of the walnuts, if using. 
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, scraping all the batter from the bowl. Smooth the top of the batter. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/3 cup of the walnuts.
  9. Bake for 60 to 65 minutes. Do not open the oven until this time has been reached. Enjoy the aroma in your kitchen. Open the oven door and a using a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the middle comes out clean, usually after 60 to 65 minutes.
  10. Set the loaf, still in the pan, on a wire cooling rack. Let it cool for 30 minutes ‚ÄĒ this helps the loaf solidify and makes it easier to remove from the pan.
  11. Remove from pan according to your preference. Cool for another 10 minutes before slicing.

COOKING NOTES

I use bananas that have an almost blackened peel. Use the juice from the banana after peeling. You may freeze the bananas until you are ready to bake this bread. Again, if you prefer a cake texture use a mixer. For a more dense bread like texture, fold and mix the batter and not work the flour too much. While baking, please do not open the oven door as the batter should rise and form to solidfy until after an hour. Enjoy the aroma! Serve while warm ūüôā

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