This go-to recipe for classic banana bread comes from my mother-in-law, Shirley, who, as a mother of ten, really knows how to get things moving in the kitchen. This banana bread is soft and flavorful and has the perfect crumb. Thanks, Shirley!
1 ¾ cups flour
2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter or shortening
2/3 cup sugar
¾ teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla (optional)
1-1 ¼ cups banana (around 1-1 ½ bananas)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together sugar, butter and salt until light and fluffy. Incorporate eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl after each addition. Mix in banana, zest and vanilla until mixture is smooth.
In a separate bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Add dry mixture into wet mixture in three separate parts, mixing in thoroughly and scraping down bowl after each addition. Once mixture is smooth, mix for one more minute.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Remove pan from oven. Let rest 15 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. Bread can be stored at room temperature, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap to prevent drying.
Banana tip: Some people like to take their brown/overripe bananas and put them in the freezer for later use. Skip the freezing. Unless you are the kind of person who cleans out your freezer every week, you will likely end up with freezer burned bananas, which you will still have to defrost to use. Instead, just use the bananas when they are ripe or even slightly over-ripe when they still have their freshness of flavor.