The Best Banana Bread

If I'm being honest, banana bread is probably one of my top three favorite foods.  I love it.  But although I secretly buy at least 3 more bananas each week than two people can reasonably eat, Peter always finds a way to make them all disappear before any of them gets spotty enough to be a banana bread candidate.  We recently visited our neighbors, Katie and Pete (and Charlie, Calliope and Popeye) and Katie pulled a fresh loaf of banana bread from the oven.  I told her about my banana woes.  "Hide them," she whispered with the wisdom of five years of marriage and two babies behind her.  And so I did.  I hid three bananas until they were attracting fruit flies.  And finally I got to make my very own loaf of the world's very best banana bread.  Served with ripe, sliced peaches, it really makes for an excellent breakfast (or dessert)!

When selecting a recipe I knew I wanted brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  I didn't want nuts or extra add-ins.  Deb Perelman's recipe on Smitten Kitchen seemed like the perfect fit, and it was (although I omitted her addition of bourbon).  Find the full Smitten Kitchen recipe here.

Best Banana Bread

3-4 Ripe Bananas
1/3 cup melted salted butter (I used unsalted and added slightly less than 1/4 tsp. salt to the butter when melting)
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups flour (I used pastry flour)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas into melted butter with a wooden spoon.  Mix in sugar, egg and vanilla.  Mix in cinnamon & nutmeg.  Sprinkle baking soda and salt over mixture and stir in.  Add flour last, mix in.  Pour batter into a 4x8 buttered loaf pan.  Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean.  Remove from loaf pan, slice and serve.

Note: I forgot to set a timer, whoops!  But you'll know this is just about done when you smell the bananas in the oven.  Test with a knife. If it comes out clean, you're all set.