I hate to talk trash, but my banana bread is the best in the world. Really. Now, you may be thinking, "Hey, MY banana bread is pretty damned good!" And I'm sure it is. It may be an excellent banana bread, but since mine is, objectively speaking, the best possible banana bread, it only stands to reason that all other banana breads are, tragically, inferior.
But have no fear! In the spirit of holiday generosity, I am willing to share my banana bread recipe with you, and then you too can brag safe in the knowledge that your claims are backed up with absolute, verifiable truth.
(This recipe is adapted from that at the joy of baking website.)
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar (I'm sure you could substitute wildly here, whatever combination of brown and white you've got. But this is what I use.)
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 stick melted butter (cooled)
Between 1 1/2-1 3/4 cup ripe banana (Use as much as you've got. The riper the better. Rotten even. Wait until the flies circle.)
1 tsp vanilla extract
Optional items (Without them, I fear you might only end up with the second-best banana bread in the world. But if allergies or weird food prejudices prevent these additions, you can omit them. But you should really try the full monty.)
1/4 cup wheat germ
2/3 cup chopped dates
1 cup chopped and toasted walnuts or pecans
1/2 tsp Frontier natural walnut flavoring*
Mix together butter, banana, eggs, and extracts. (Do yourself a favor and just mix them in the saucepan you used to melt the butter.) Sift together the dry ingredients in a large bowl, then fold the wet ingredients in. Do not overmix. Add the dates and nuts when you can still see big streaks of flour, to avoid overmixing. Bake in a buttered loaf pan in a 350 degree oven until done, about an hour.
*I have no idea how "natural" Frontier Natural Walnut Flavoring is. It's probably walnut shells infused in petroleum, with maybe some ground walrus tusks. I don't know. I don't care. I love this stuff. It gives a subtle nutty flavoring throughout a bread or muffin or cookie. I add it to anything baked that includes nuts. If the company ever goes out of business, I will buy up a case.