My little boy seriously loves fruit. I have to keep the fruit hidden at mealtimes until he is done eating other things otherwise he will only ask for fruit. Honestly, that is probably all he would eat if I let him. His favorites fruits to eat are strawberries and blueberries, or any other type of berry he can get his hands on. He never met a berry he didn’t like. I try to throw in other fruit, such as bananas, to mix things up, but he isn’t quite as enthusiastic about eating them. As a result, some of the bananas were looking a little sad and brown in the fruit bowl the other day. Since he was napping, I decided to make some banana bread.
I had never made banana bread before, so when I started making this recipe I was a little surprised with how many steps were involved. Looking at some other recipes after the fact, I realized this recipe is a little more complicated than other recipes. But it is definitely worth the effort because this banana bread turned out fantastic.
To get started, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
Place peeled bananas in a microwave safe bowl, and then cover it with plastic wrap. Use a paring knife to cut a few vent holes in the plastic. Microwave the bananas for about 5 minutes, so they will get soft and release some liquid. Line a strainer with cheesecloth, and place it in a similar sized bowl. Pour the soft bananas into the strainer lined with cheesecloth. Let the bananas sit for about 15 minutes, stirring on occasion, until ½ to ¾ cup of liquid has drained.
Pour banana liquid into a small pan. Boil over medium heat, stirring consistently, for about 5 minutes or until it has reduced by about half. Make sure to watch it because it can bubble over easily.
Stir reduced banana liquid back into the bananas, mashing the bananas until there are no large chunks.
Using a stand or hand mixer, combine the banana mixture with the butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla.
Add the flour mixture, and stir with a spatula until only some streaks of flour remain.
Add walnuts, if using. Mix until combined. I don’t like nuts in my baked goods, so I skipped this step.
Pour the banana bread batter into a greased loaf pan. Sprinkle the sugar over the top of the uncooked batter.
Bake for 55 to 75 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 15 minutes.
Remove from pan and continue to cool on a wire rack.