I like to mix things up when I make banana bread. I make banana bread often, since I always have bananas in the house, and I will add browned butter, coffee, Nutella and vanilla beans to add different flavors to breads in an effort to keep them from getting boring. But sometimes we play around with a recipe so much that I forget how delicious that basic recipe is and this Brown Sugar Banana Bread reminded me of that.
This is a perfect, simple loaf of banana bread that might get overlooked in favor of flashier recipes with lots of mix-ins. There is a little bit of vanilla in the batter, but there are no spices like cinnamon or nutmeg. This means that the banana flavor really stands out, blending with brown sugar to make a loaf that is all about the banana – not any extra ingredients. This bread also has a great consistency. It is very moist with a slightly dense, but not too heavy, crumb that makes it feel like a banana bread and not a banana cake. It is sturdy enough to slice it, toast it and serve it with butter or peanut butter, but it is a great snack just as it is.
I’ll always bake a wide variety of recipes with my bananas, but this is a good reminder to come back to the classics every so often to remind us what made them classics in the first place! This bread will keep for several days when stored in an airtight container and it can also be frozen (I like to wrap individual slices) for longer term storage and snacking.
Brown Sugar Banana Bread
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 large bananas, mashed (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup milk (low fat is ok)
Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch pan.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, blend together mashed bananas, melted butter, brown sugar, egg and vanilla extract. Stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the milk. Stir in remaining flour mixture, mixing just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Pour batter into prepared pan.
Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow loaf to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.
Makes 1 loaf.