You guys, pay day isn’t until Friday. I had some fancy ideas involving roquefort cheese for today, but you know what? That’s not happening. Not go to the grocery store until Friday?…Challenge accepted! (Barney Stinson, guys. Stay with me.)
Therefore, the time has come. The bananas are ripe beyond the point where anyone in my household will eat them on their own.
We have also recently eased our way back into a dinner-at-the-dining hall routine, because that’s what we do around here for nine months out of the year. What we need on hand these days are breakfast items and snacks. It is time, indeed, to share with you a favorite that I’ve always needed in my posts repertoire. My favorite banana bread- nay- the best banana bread you’ve ever tasted. I know the above title is a steep claim and the previous sentence a bit presumptuous. Don’t worry. I do not take these things lightly.
The most lovely part about this recipe is that it came from a cookbook given to me by my grandmother as a wedding gift. It’s called Delightfully Southern, and I have enjoyed it immensely during my eleven years of marriage, and I plan to treasure it for many more.
I have followed the recipe and tweaked it here and there. I have most often doubled it because one loaf can be gone so quickly, you know. What I mean when I call this to your attention as being the best, is that it is the best banana bread in its simplest, most made-the-way-it-was-supposed to be form. I’m not saying I don’t care for a cream cheese banana bread and other fancified plays on this wonder. Gosh, who could ever say that?! But when you want banana bread, you want banana bread; plain and simple, perfect banana bread. With nuts, darnit. With nuts.
So without further ado (and I realize I have made it to the very end of Thursday without yet publishing this post I started a few days ago #storyofmylife), I present to you a staple in your recipe box forevermore. Thank goodness for empty bank accounts and stretching it out until payday, or when would I have remembered to make this for you?
- 1 stick plus 1/4 stick butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 Tablespoons milk
- 1 1/2 cups mashed, ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (or more if you're like me) pecans, roughly chopped
- Beat together butter and sugar until fluffy; add eggs, vanilla, milk, and bananas.
- Sift together dry ingredients and add to mixture along with pecans.
- Stir in just until moistened.
- Bake in oiled loaf pan in 350° oven about 1 hour or until dark golden on top (The longer it cooks, the more it gets that thick crust, which is incredible).
- Allow to cool in pan 5 minutes before loosening with a knife and turning out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.
- *When I double this, I cook the two loaves together for about 1 hour, 10 minutes at 350°
adapted from Lucy Clark's "Delightfully Southern" Cookbook
And by the way…challenge accomplished. Anyone challenging themselves to use up what’s in the pantry before you go grocery shopping?