Bananas are second only the elusive pear for their fleeting period of perfect ripeness. The interval between green and tangy and a brown speckled mush is altogether too brief, and even the most devoted bananavore is likely to miss one or two out of the occasional bunch. Luckily, the trick to sweet, rich banana bread means never having to worry about waisting that errant too-browned banana. Just toss that bad boy in the freezer, and collect them until you have enough for a batch of this perfect rich banana bread! —PhillipBrandon
1 loaf (8x4-ish)
1 1/2 cups
Dark Brown Sugar, packed
Very Ripe Bananas, from freezer, mashed (see notes)
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt.
In a second, large bowl, mix in this order: Oil, brown sugar, banana, egg, and milk
Stir flour mixture into the large bowl, and add nuts if using.
Turn into a lightly oiled, or parchment-lined pan.
Bake at 350ºF for an hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, or with only dry crumbs.
Cool briefly in pan before turning out to a rack to cool completely.
This bread is great fresh, but it will slice better after spending a night in the fridge, wrapped in foil. Slices can be buttered and toasted for a bit of an indulgent breakfast.
A note or two on bananas:
Whenever a banana gets too brown to enjoy fresh toss it in the freezer. Freezing them helps break down the banana and helps them continue to sweeten (This is similar to some recipes you'll see for roasting whole bananas. The freezer takes more foresight, but less work.)
Frozen bananas can thaw at room temperature, or be microwaved at low power for a few seconds at a time. When thawed, you can snip one end of the banana off, and squeeze the flesh out like a tube of toothpaste, and then mash with a fork.
You're going to want a good cup of banana for this recipe, which is about two large bananas, but err to the top side. Use whatever whole number of bananas will put you over the 1-cup mark.