2000s Recipes + Menus

Banana Nut Bread

Makes 1 (9-inch) loaf
  • Active time:15 min
  • Start to finish:2 1/4 hr (includes chilling)
May 2004
My mother learned to cook this bread during the Depression, when nothing was wasted—especially overripe bananas. We clamored for this treat so often that she frequently bought extra bananas and let them get almost black. I’ve discovered that overripe bananas can be peeled, mashed, and frozen, then defrosted whenever I want to bake up this memory. —Ruth Cousineau
  • 2/3 cup whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour (not self-rising; sift before measuring)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 very ripe medium bananas
  • 3 oz walnuts, chopped (1 cup)
  • Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan and line bottom of pan with wax paper or parchment, then grease paper.
  • Mix together milk and lemon juice and let stand until milk curdles, about 1 minute.
  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a bowl.
  • Beat together butter and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until combined, then beat in bananas until combined. (Mixture will look curdled.)
  • Add flour mixture to banana mixture alternately with milk, mixing at low speed just until batter is smooth. Stir in walnuts. Pour into loaf pan and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center of bread comes out clean, about 1 hour.
  • Cool bread in pan on a rack 20 minutes, then invert bread onto rack. Remove paper and turn bread right side up on rack to cool completely.
Cooks’ Note: Bread keeps, wrapped in plastic wrap, at room temperature 4 days or frozen 1 month.
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