Best Banana Bread

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Toasted Banana bread may or may not be one of the best, most perfect foods there is. Especially when your mom made it and sends it with you for you big move. Being able to crack this open and eat this really made me feel at home during the big adjustment. We, as a family, have tried many banana bread recipes over the years—but this one by Tyler Florence is the whole family’s favorite. It has killer flavor and the texture is what dreams are made of: moist deluxe on the inside and a bit crispy on the edges. And bonus—when you toast this delicious bread and add a little butter, it puts it way over to top to magical perfection.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 overripe bananas (I like two of them to be frozen and thawed)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly butter a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.

Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together for a good 3 minutes; you want a light and fluffy banana cream. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla; beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated; no need to overly blend. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Give the pan a good rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.

Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Don’t get nervous if the banana bread develops a crack down the center of the loaf; that’s no mistake, it’s typical. Rotate the pan periodically to ensure even browning. Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes or so, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy the smell, toast the bread, and thank your lucky stars you get to eat this glorious treat.

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