My mother’s banana bread is my default Thing To Make whenever I throw a party or find myself in need of a hostess gift. It’s quick, it’s easy, and – best part – it can be personalized with the addition of things like nuts and Nutella. My mom has had this recipe for years – decades, I think; it’s written down on a little index card in a box that she’s had since high school – and it’s never failed me (other than once, when I accidentally undercooked it and ended up with banana bread on the outside and banana soup on the inside; don’t do that).
What you need:
1/2 cup softened butter
1 cup sugar
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped walnuts and/or 1/2 cup Nutella
What you do:
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Butter and flour a bread pan.
3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar, then mix in the two eggs (one at a time).
4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt.
5. Gradually stir the sifted dry ingredients into the butter/sugar/eggs, and then mix in the mashed bananas. If you want, add a handful of chopped nuts.
Optional step: If you’d like to transform this into Nutella-Banana Bread, remove 1/2 cup of the batter from the bowl. Microwave the Nutella for a few seconds (not too much; you want it to soften but not burn) and stir it into the batter until well-blended. Fill the bread pan by alternating the regular batter and the Nutella batter, then lightly swirl with a knife.
6. Bake in the center of the oven for about an hour (make sure to test doneness with a toothpick so that you don’t end up with the aforementioned banana soup; sometimes the Nutella version can take a few minutes longer to cook).
Pictured: Noritake China Yoshino platter, Rochelle Gold dinner plate and BoB Snow bowl (all styles 40% off this week only in the Noritake China/Ramshackle Glam flash sale).