Best Ever Banana Bread

4 May

Banana bread is great — if it’s made just right. Here’s the result of several years of research and tweaking until the “just right” recipe came to be. I really enjoy making this during the winter, when a toasty kitchen full of yummy baking smells is just oh-so-comforting. 🙂

What you need:

+ 4 to 6 overripe bananas. I like mine frozen and slightly thawed.

+ 2 tsp. lemon juice (I’ve also used lime, and it works fine, too.)

+ 3 cups flour (I use 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour and one cup whole wheat flour)

+ 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda

+ 1/4 tsp. salt

+ 3/4 cup butter, softened

+ 2 1/8 cup sugar (I use 1 1/8 cup regular white cane sugar, and 1 cup brown sugar — dark or light works fine)

+ 2 tsp. vanilla

+ 1 1/3 cup buttermilk (I use “old” milk or regular milk and put the 2 tsp. of lemon juice in with it first)

+ 1/4 cup raisins (optional)

What you do:

+ Cream butter and sugar together. Add overripe bananas and mash together. Mix in milk and lemon juice. Add in vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Mix in raisins (make sure they are separated apart, not clumpy). Finally, gradually add in a cup at a time the flour. This should give you a very runny “cake” batter. Grease two bread loaf pans, or one 9×13 baking dish or cake pan. I like to use glass as I think it gives the edges a nicer crust, but metal ones work just fine, too. Preheat over to 325F and bake for 1 hr 30 min. to 2 hrs. depending on how quickly your oven cooks. The bread is done when you can stick a toothpick or knife in the center and it comes up clean. Remove from the oven and cool 15 min. Place uncovered in the freezer for 45 min. I usually leave mine in over night. The freezing part makes the bread condense as it cools and makes for a very moist texture. Remove from the freezer, cut and serve. Oh, you can also serve it hot/warm when it comes out of the oven, but I don’t like it like that as the texture is dryer and more “bready” and I like mine moist. Serve plain or with cream cheese or cream cheese frosting, or drizzle milk/half-n-half/fresh cream/condensed milk over it. Yummy all those ways!

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