My mother used to make banana bread all the time when I was growing up, and it was one of the treats we most looked forward to. Tender, with a crisp, brown crust and an intense banana flavor, it was just the thing for breakfast, or toasted and thickly buttered with a hot cup of tea.
She got the recipe from an old community cookbook called Forum Feasts (see my post on a recipe for chocolate cake with orange icing from the same book)–I've cut back on the sugar a little, but otherwise it remains the same. It keeps well for a few days, and if you wrap it tightly in foil and plastic wrap, you can freeze it for several weeks with no side effects. —Merrill Stubbs
one 2-pound loaf
unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
Heat the oven to 350° F, and butter a 5-by-9-inch loaf pan.
Peel the bananas and in a large mixing bowl, mash them well with a fork. Stir in the sugar and then the egg, mixing thoroughly. Stir in the butter.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Fold the dry ingredients gently into the wet, mixing just until you no longer see any streaks of raw flour. (Do not overmix, or the banana bread will be tough!)
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean and the bread is just starting to come away from the sides of the pan.
Cool in the pan on a rack for 5 minutes, and then turn out onto the rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. The bread has a lovely, crisp crust when it’s fresh; if you wrap the leftovers tightly in foil and eat them the next day, you’ll lose that crisp crust, but the texture and flavor will still be great -- if not even better.