Honestly, I have always been ambivalent about banana bread. Most of what I have been offered is filled with all kinds of additions, lots of nuts, chocolate chips, spices. It’s too much for me and masks any banana flavor. And it is often accompanied by the disclaimer “I had a bunch of old bananas, so I thought I ought to make bread,” which is not a very good introduction.
But the generally popularity of banana bread cannot be disputed, so I decided I should create a recipe that meets my banana bread tastes. I started with buttermilk, because I adore using buttermilk for baking. It keeps the bread moist and adds a nice little tang. I find it highlights the fresh banana taste. I left out the extras – I like nuts, but not always in baked goods, and again, I want a banana bread that tastes like bananas. So this is my house banana bread. Simple and straightforward, with lots of banana flavor.
Buttermilk Banana Bread
Yields 1 loaf
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 3 bananas)
1. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix the baking soda into the buttermilk and add the baking powder to the flour. Beat the flour and the buttermilk alternately into the butter, scraping the sides of the bowl a few times, until thoroughly combined. Beat in the mashed bananas.
3. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 to 1-1/4 hours until a tester inserted in the center comes out with just a few damp crumbs clinging to it. If the top begins to brown to deeply, loosely cover the top with foil.
4. Cool in the pan for a few minutes, then turn out on to a wire rack to cool completely.