I have made this banana bread twice this week – once to share with coworkers who claimed they had never enjoyed any of my office offerings and again because I didn’t have any left to share at home after making it the first time. This afternoon (after I savored a warm, buttered slice), I brought half the loaf to a friend who immediately peeled off the plastic wrap and took a big bite – en route to the gym, no less. (I hope he saves some for his wife!) Then I went for a run because the gorgeous 70 degree sunny day left me no choice! But I digress…
This has been my go-to banana bread recipe for a few years now, ever since Dan gave me the Baking Boot Camp book by Darra Goldstein. The bread is dense and moist, and bananas are certainly the star of the show, complemented by toasty pecans and sweet honey. I love it for breakfast, dessert, or snack!
P.S. My sister- and father-in-law took at a peek at our house this weekend and sent a few pictures. The cabinets were installed in the kitchen, and they look fantastic. I am so excited to see it all come together!
Banana Nut Bread
Makes one 9-inch loaf
The original recipe includes a tablespoon of grated orange rind. While it would be delicious, I rarely keep oranges on hand, so I do not usually include it. If you love citrus or have an orange rolling around in your fruit bowl, toss it in! Also, if your bananas aren’t quite spotty or brown yet, roast then in a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until soft. Allow to cool before adding to the batter. Roasting the bananas really enhances their flavor as well.
½ cup pecan halves
2 cups all purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup sugar
1/3 cup honey
3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
2 teaspoons vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch loaf pan and set aside. While the oven is preheating, spread the pecans on a sheet pan and toast in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, tossing every few minutes until they are fragrant and just starting to darken in color. After the nuts have cooled slightly, coarsely chop and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
In another medium bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and honey until light and fluffy. Add the bananas and mix until well combined. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture and stir just until incorporated (do not over mix). Fold in the toasted, chopped nuts. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 60 minutes until a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes before turning the loaf out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely. Store bread at room temperature loosely covered.
(Recipe adapted from Baking Boot Camp by The Culinary Institute of America and Darra Goldstein)