As I write this post, a google search for 'banana nut bread' gives me 1,290,000 results. I am curious to know how many results were available when I did the exact same search on yahoo roughly ten years ago, but one of the recipes that showed up on the first page was this one and for that I am immensely thankful.
I printed out the recipe because it looked too simple to be true, and tried it out, and it turned out wonderful. I never again looked for another one. I have made it countless times since, and given it to people who liked it, and then they have continued to make it.
This is among the very few recipes that I can bake with at any time without having to look it up even one bit. If all the ingredients are around, then it takes only minutes to stir up the batter, and usually it is the three ripe bananas that are the most difficult to come by. About halfway through the baking time a most amazing aroma starts to waft around, and it continues till the timer goes off. Then an exercise in patience begins. 'Wait till it cools' is easier said than done, but the reward is great. This bread is soft and moist, full of banana flavor, and sweet enough to be called a 'banana cake'.
The recipe is called the 'Best Ever Banana Nut Bread', and that name does sufficient justice to it.
1 stick (8 Tablespoons) butter, melted in oven in a large oven proof bowl
1 cup sugar
1 egg, well beaten
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
3 large very ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Preheat the oven to 350 F°. Grease a 9x5x4 inch (approximately) loaf pan with a little butter.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
Add the sugar to the melted butter and mix together. Add the egg and vanilla extract and continue mixing. Add the bananas, flour mixture, and nuts one by one, and keep mixing until all the ingredients are combined. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake at 350 F° for one hour.
Let it cool in the pan. Loosen the edges with a knife and remove from pan.
Now let me count the ways in which it is forgiving. First of all, it doesn't need any specialized equipment. A hand-mixer is fine, but a whisk or large spoon will do just as well. Don't like pecans? Use any other kind of nuts, like walnuts or macadamias, or leave out the nuts altogether. Don't like it too sweet? Use 3/4th cup of sugar. Feeling virtuous? Substitute half the flour with whole wheat flour, or upto 2 tablespoons of the flour with flax seed meal, which is a good source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and high in fiber. Looking to cut down fat? Substitute half of the butter with applesauce. Or try your own variation and have fun with it. It will not betray.
To end with a disclaimer, I am not fond of bananas at all, but this bread I love.