Sometimes I buy a huge bunch of bananas knowing that some of them will turn brown before they are all eaten. It gives me an excuse to make my banana bread! Now it is hard to come by a good banana bread recipe… so many turn out dry and flavorless. It is like I bought a dozen bananas for no reason at all. But alas, I have perfected the recipe. The key is plenty of bananas… overripe, dark brown bananas. This guarantees a moist bread with plenty of banana flavor.
I have included orange zest to give it a little extra something, but this is totally optional as are the nuts. I know that for the longest time I avoided nuts in my banana bread like the plague. I just hated biting down into a piece of tender banana bread to be shocked by a hard, crunchy walnut. Since then I have grown to appreciate the nutty flavor and texture in the sweet banana bread. In the end, it is the baker’s choice on whether to include the nuts.
Banana Nut Bread
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest optional
- 1/2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature.
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 cups mashed bananas about 4 overripe bananas
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts optional
Preheat oven to 350° F. Lightly grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, and orange zest. Set aside.
In a separate bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and brown sugar. Stir in eggs and mashed bananas until well blended.
By hand, stir banana mixture into the flour mixture, until moistened.* Gently stir in walnuts just until incorporated. Take care not to over stir as this will result in a dry, dense loaf. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
Bake in preheated oven for 60 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of the loaf comes out clean. Let bread cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.
*It is okay if there are still streaks of flour at this point because you will be stirring in the walnuts, which will diminish the presence of the flour.