Quick breads are one of the easiest things to bake and one of the most enthusiastically received gifts. My grandmother must receive at least 20 loaves from friends during the holiday season! She stacks them high in her freezer and pulls them out throughout the year.
I have fond memories as a child, waking up to the smell of banana nut bread reheating in the oven on Christmas morning. Call me strange, but growing up, I soaked bits of toasted banana nut bread in corn grits along with bacon crumbles. I still think it's the most incredible sweet-salty combination.
This recipe is on the cakey side, and it's not overwhelmingly sweet. When I make breakfast breads, I prefer things that are slightly crunchy and complex, which is why I added some wheat flour and a hefty dose of walnuts to the mix. Remarkably, this banana nut bread tastes even better reheated; I recommend toasting thick slices in the oven (with salted butter dotted over the tops) until the edges become crunchy. Gift this banana nut bread the day of or day after you make it and include a card that recommends the recipient eat it within three days or freeze it for later use.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 bananas, mashed
1 cup plus 1/4 cup crushed walnuts, toasted and cooled
- Preheat oven to 350°F. In a nine-inch loaf pan, grease with butter then dust with flour. Tap out excess flour. In a medium bowl, sift flours, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter on medium high speed. Beat in brown sugar and vanilla. Add egg and mix until thoroughly combined. On low speed, alternate between adding flour mixture (in 1/2-cup increments) and mashed banana. Mix until thoroughly combined, scraping sides of the bowl as necessary. Add one cup walnuts and mix until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth out the top, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup walnuts. Bake for one hour or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the middle comes out free of crumbs. Cool bread in the pan for 20 minutes, then turn bread out onto a cooling rack. When completely cool, wrap the loaf in plastic wrap.
- Breads, Desserts
- 1 (9-inch) loaf