I have tried so many banana bread recipes over the years. After all, every family needs a go-to recipe for what to do with those bananas after they’ve sprouted brown spots and no one will touch them. But I always come back to this one, from The Moosewood Cookbook. I have tweaked and omitted and tested until this recipe is quite different from Mollie Katzen’s. In other words, it’s just the way I like it. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
Makes 2 loaves
- 1 1/2 cup (3 sticks) butter, softened
- 1 3/4 cups brown sugar, packed
- 4 eggs
- 2 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. orange zest
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 Tbsp. aluminum-free baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. ground cloves
- 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 cups ripe bananas, mashed (about 5 medium)
- Optional: add 3/4 cup chopped nuts such as pecans or walnuts, or 3/4 chocolate chips, or top with cream cheese frosting
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously grease 2 standard-sized loaf pans.
- Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. When the mixture is fluffy, stir in vanilla and almond extracts and orange zest.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients. Add half to butter mixture. Then add in bananas. Mix until all is well-combined. Add in rest of dry ingredients and rest of bananas. Stir in any optional ingredients. Mix well but do not over-mix.
- Divide batter evenly between two loaf pans. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until a knife inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Cool for 10 minutes in pan. Loosen sides of pan with knife, then turn upside-down to remove bread. Transfer to cooling rack and let rest for at least 1 hour before slicing.