At this moment where baking is practically an Olympic sport, a moist, perfect loaf of simple banana bread is the best way to get into the game.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Keyword: banana bread, best banana bread, easy banana bread
Author: Katie Workman
½cup(1 stick) unsalted butter,at room temperature
1teaspoonpure vanilla extract
1 ¾cupsall-purpose flour
2large very ripe bananaspeeled and mashed (about 1 cup mush)
½cupbuttermilkheavy cream, half and half, whole milk, plain yogurt (Greek or otherwise), or sour cream
½teaspoongrated orange zestor ½ teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
⅓cupmini chocolate chipsfor sprinkling on top, optional
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan or spray with nonstick cooking spray.
In a small bowl, mix together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until lightly and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla. Blend in the mashed bananas and buttermilk along with the orange zest or cinnamon, if using.
Switch to a wooden spoon and add the flour mixture in batches to the batter, mixing just until each addition is incorporated. At the end the batter should be barely blended (it will be thick). Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Sprinkle the chips on top, if desired. Bake until a toothpick or wooden skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 45 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out of the pan and finishing cooling the bread upright on the wire rack.
Variation: Moist Banana Muffins
Grease a 12 muffins tin or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Pop paper liners, if you have them, into the cups. Fill each muffin liner (or cup)3/4 full of batter. Sprinkle on the mini chocolate chips evenly, if using.
Bake for 23 to 27 minutes or until the muffins spring back when pressed lightly in the center. Let them sit in the tins on wire racks for 5 minutes, then gently turn them out of the tins, and cool them upright on a wire rack. Eat warm or at room temperature.