There is a specific kind of produce related panic that washes over me when I see produce start to go bad on the kitchen counter. Usually this anxiety comes when I buy a bag of avocados at Costco, they all ripen at the same time and the only solution is to make emergency guacamole. Since you can’t make guacamole with rotting bananas, please enjoy this recipe for Banana Bread, adapted from the New York Times Cookbook.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a loaf pan (8-1/2 X 4-1/2 X 3 inches) with a thin layer of butter.
Step 2: Gather the following ingredient
1 ¾ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup of softened butter (cutting up the butter into small cubes helps softening a hard stick straight out of the fridge)
⅔ cup sugar
2 eggs, well-beaten
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2-3, the browner the better
Step 3: Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and mix with a whisk. This recipe calls for these dry ingredients to be “sifted”, but fluffing it up with a whisk will do. Sifters are totally unnecessary and make a sound that can only be described as the kitchen-version of nails on a chalkboard. I Marie Kondo-ed mine recently and haven’t looked back!
Step 4: In a separate bowl, cream the butter until light and fluffy, using either a a stand mixer (with paddle attachment, a hand mixer (with the beater attachment), or a fork (with your arm attachment). Gradually add the sugar until you’ve reached peak fluffiness. The creaming process is critical for success when baking, so don’t skimp on this step. Add the eggs and mix until fully incorporated.
Step 5: Add the flour mixture alternately with the bananas, mixing just until the streaks of dry flour disappear. Over mixing flour allows the gluten to form strands, resulting in a heavy, chewy baked good. Since we are making banana bread, not beef jerky, this is not the texture to aim for.
6- Pour this gooey goodness into your loaf pan and bake until a toothpick (or if you’re extra like me, a “cake tester”...which is just a fancy metal toothpick I bought in a moment of weakness at Sur La Table) inserted into the center comes out almost clean, about 50-60 minutes.