Banana Nut Bread

Ripe bananas in this house are a common … almost every week event…. So I must have dozens of banana recipes… many of them are Banana Bread recipes…. I’ve posted a few here… and I must tell you.. they all are very good… moist and flavorful. 
I’m often asked.. so which is my favorite… honestly.. it depends on the moment and what I have in my cupboard and fridge.  I really like use buttermilk in my baking… so the ones with buttermilk get made when I have that in my fridge… I usually have nuts in my fridge too… so.. sometimes I feel like a nut.. sometimes I don’t.
This recipe is from Williams-Sonoma… it’s almost the same as one I previously posted from my recipe file… an excellent recipe…. it has a bit more buttermilk and an additional egg… it also has both baking powder and baking soda… it was nice…  moist and light.  I also add vanilla and they don’t.
I used pecans.. you can use walnuts or hazelnuts… I like to use different nuts at different times.. it’s nice to switch off.. and give it a slightly different taste.
Make sure your baking soda and baking powder are fresh and not expired.  As I have found out, unfortunately, it makes a huge difference in how much the bread rises.
I use very ripe bananas… I find them the most flavorful.
I mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and use a whisk to mix it.. I find it helps distribute the baking powder and baking soda the best.
So don’t throw away ripe bananas.. use them to make bread.. it’s delicious!

Recipe:  Banana Nut Bread
All you need:
1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 or 3 very ripe bananas, mashed *I use 3
3 eggs, lightly beaten
½ cup buttermilk
I teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¾ cup nuts (pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts)
All you need to do:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease and flour a 9 x 5 loaf pan.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and nuts.  Set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until well combines and creamy.  Add the mashed bananas, vanilla and eggs, beat until just combined (you really want little lumps of banana if you can).  Add the buttermilk and continue beating until just combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and beat until they are just combined.  I add a little at a time and have the mixer beating slowly.. otherwise it goes all over the place.  Scrape the bowl periodically.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 55-60 minutes or until dark golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean…. the bread will pull from the sides of the pan. 
Make sure you don’t over-bake this.. I find with the nuts.. even slightly overbaking, the bread becomes dryer than I like.   I start checking it at 50 minutes.
Allow to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then remove from the pan and cool on a wire rack.

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