Favorite Banana Bread

A loaf of my favorite banana bread, cooling before being devoured!

A loaf of my favorite banana bread, cooling before being devoured!

Banana bread is probably the most frequently-made quick bread, and there are a zillion versions out there.   I've tried more than my fair share of recipes, but this is my favorite, first because it is utterly delicious, and second, because you mix it all up by hand in a flash.  It is one of those recipes that always performs.  It is good warm, which not every banana bread can boast, and it keeps and freezes well (if it isn't all eaten the first day). You will love this recipe!  Makes one 9X5-inch loaf.

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup toasted, chopped pecans

3 very ripe bananas, very soft with dark speckles, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

6 Tablespoons (3 ounces) melted butter, cooled

1 teaspoon vanilla

Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat the oven to 350-degrees.

If using a regular (not non-stick) loaf pan (9X5-inches), grease the bottom only.  If using a non-stick pan, grease and flour the entire pan, as this gives the batter something to cling to and allow it to rise more.  Set aside.

Combine the first five ingredients in a large bowl; set aside.

Mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter, and vanilla with a wooden spoon in a medium bowl.  Lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients with a rubber spatula until just combined with no streaks of dry ingredients.  (Over-mixing will result in a tougher bread.)  The batter will be thick and chunky.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth out.  Bake until the loaf is a golden brown and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean, about 45-55 minutes. 

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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