I made my first banana bread just after the second world war. Bananas disappeared from the produce shelves during the war. Rationing, torpedoed cargo ships and ships used for troop transport meant that many food items were simply not available.
My first banana loaf contained no walnuts. They were still rationed. The recipe was rather frugal with a limited amount of sugar and butter. However to me the flavour was wonderfully exotic and I pretended those brown specks were nuts.
Through the years I baked many variations of banana bread; coconut banana, banana prune, banana chocolate chip and so on. They were all good but not great. Hundreds of banana breads later I declare this is the Blue Ribbon Winner. It is rich with butter and eggs. Deeply flavoured with brown sugar and a smidge of cinnamon. It is extravagantly studded with walnuts, and has a delicate crumb.
|ULTIMATE BLUE RIBBON BANANA BREAD|| |
- 2¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1½ tsp taking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- 3 ripe bananas mashed
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 1½ tsp baking soda
- ¾ cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups walnuts coarsely chopped
- Whisk together flour, baking powder,cinnamon and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl stir together bananas, buttermilk, vanilla and baking soda. Let stand for 10-15 minutes.
- Using a stand mixer whip butter with brown sugar until well combined.
- Beat in eggs, one by one.
- Then beat in the banana mixture until combined.
- Add the flour mixture all at once and stir just until combined.
- Stir in the walnuts until just combined.
- Pour into a grease 9 x 5-inch (2 L) loaf pan. ( Do not use a smaller sized loaf pan.)
- Bake in a 325F oven until cake tester inserted into centre comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes.
- Let cool in pan on rack for 15 minutes.
- Turn out onto rack; let cool completely.