This banana bread recipe from Cook’s Illustrated turns out a moist loaf of quick bread that is easy to make and turns out terrific banana muffins, too.
For the best banana bread recipe, overripe bananas–you know, the ones with the black splotches and mushy texture–are just perfect. Alas, lots of banana bread recipes can turn out gritty, flat, dense, or otherwise lackluster. The biggest sin of all? A banana bread that doesn’t taste of bananas. That’s not the case with this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. For best results, be sure to use a loaf pan that measures 9 inches long, 5 inches across, and 3 inches deep. Updated from the recipe archive, first posted October 22, 2004.–David Leite
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 granulated sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 very ripe, soft bananas with big black splotches, 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. Position an oven rack in the lower-middle position and crank the heat to 350°F (175°C) degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan and then toss a little flour in the pan, turn it to coat all the butter-slicked sides with flour, and dump out the flour, tapping the pan to remove any the excess.
- 2. Toss the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and toast until fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes. Immediately transfer the walnuts to a plate to prevent and let cool.
- 3. Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and walnuts in a large bowl.
- 4. Stir the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl. (Yes, with a spoon. The exercise is good for you.) Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula just until combined. The batter should be thick and sorta chunky. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- 5. Bake the banana bread until the surface appears golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then carefully tip the pan over so the banana bread falls onto the wire rack. Here’s the best part. Slice and serve the banana bread warm (our vote) or at room temperature (suit yourself). (The banana 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.
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