The best part of buying bananas from the grocery store is the inevitable few that will be left uneaten and overly brown. Once you have three such bananas, you’re ready to make Blue-Ribbon Banana Bread. This satisfying, moist loaf cake is simple enough to whip up on a Sunday afternoon. Plus, Blue-Ribbon Banana Nut Bread is actually best once it sits a bit, so you can imagine how divine it will be with coffee the next morning.
Ingredients• 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract • 2 large eggs, at room temperature • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for preparing the pan • 1 cup sugar • 3 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed with a fork (about 1 cup) • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, optional, toasted
Sift the baking soda, flour, and salt into a medium bowl, and set aside.
Whisk the vanilla and eggs together in a liquid measuring cup with a spout and set aside.
Prepare a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan by lightly brushing it with butter.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Using a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or an electric hand-held mixer, cream the sugar and butter together until fluffy and light.
Pour the egg mixture into the butter mixture gradually while mixing until well combined.
Add in the bananas and remove the bowl from the mixer.
Using a rubber spatula, mix in the flour mixture until just combined, careful not to deflate the batter.
Fold in the nuts and transfer the batter to the prepared loaf pan.
Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean.
For 5 minutes, let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack. Then turn the bread out of the pan and let cool completely on the rack.
Once cooled, wrap the bread in plastic wrap. The banana bread is best served the next day.