Overripe bananas on the kitchen counter are an excellent excuse to make banana bread. However, many banana breads are flat, gritty, or heavy. Worse, some loaves taste only remotely of bananas. A good banana bread recipe turns out a soft and tender loaf with plenty of banana flavor and crunchy toasted walnuts. It should be moist and light, something so delicious that you look forward to the bananas on the counter turning soft and mushy.
For best results, be sure to use a loaf pan that measures 9 inches long, 5 inches across, and 3 inches deep.–Editors of Cook’s Illustrated
LC Bananas for Banana Bread Note
We realize you probably already possess a batter-splattered banana bread recipe, one that was carefully written on a recipe card or the back of an envelope in wobbly longhand by your mom or grandmom. While you could argue that the best banana bread recipe is the one you grew up with, we suggest you refrain from passing judgement until you try this version of the classic. And should an unfortunate gluten situation find you sighing and feeling sad because you can no longer make this loaf for yourself or a loved one, you may seek relief in a batch of our gluten-free banana bread.
Banana Bread Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 20 M
- 1 H, 30 M
- Makes a 9-inch loaf
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
- 1 1/4 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 very ripe, soft, darkly speckled large bananas, mashed well (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 2 large eggs, beaten lightly
- 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for the pan
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350°F (175°C) degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Dust the pan with flour, tapping out the excess.
- 2. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.
- 3. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and walnuts together in a large bowl.
- 4. Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined and the batter looks thick and chunky. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- 5. Bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. (The bread can be wrapped with plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.)
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Banana Bread Recipe © 2004 Editors of Cook's Illustrated. Photo © 2004 Carl Tremblay. All rights reserved.