This Buttermilk Banana Bread is perhaps one of the nearest and dearest recipes to our family – every time we make it, it reminds us of my father in law; this recipe is, in its essence, his. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do, and think of him! I love the recipe as it is written with pecans, but often make it without for my family who isn’t crazy about nuts. Try it with your favorite nuts, chocolate chips, or even coconut. It’s very adaptable. This recipe makes 2 loaves.
1cupbuttermilkor substitute 1 cup milk with juice of one lemon
2 1/4cupsvery ripe mashed bananas(about 5 medium bananas)
Preheat oven to 300°F. Prepare two 9x5-inch loaf pans by buttering and lining with parchment paper. See notes below if using 8x4-inch loaf pans.
Sift or whisk flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add pecans if using, then set aside.
In a separate bowl, cream sugar, and butter. Mix in eggs, one at a time, then add the bananas.
Add dry ingredients and buttermilk, alternating until incorporated. Try to end with the dry ingredient addition, and be sure not to over mix.
Transfer to prepared loaf pans. Bake for 1 hour or until the loaves are golden, firm to the touch, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you have an instant-read thermometer, the banana bread is ready when the temperature is between 195-200°F. Cool the banana bread completely before storing, it will keep well wrapped at room temperature for 2-3 days (but will likely be eaten well before then).
Buttermilk Banana Bread Tips/FAQs
What size loaf pan can I use? For many years, I baked this banana bread in two 9x5-inch loaf pans and share the recipe as such.
However, I now also like to bake it in two 8x4-inch loaf pans, which results in taller loaves but takes approximately 1.25 hours to bake.
You can also bake this in 2 5-cup duet bundt pans at 350°F for 30 minutes, making 4 mini bundt "cakes."
Why do you bake it at 300°F? My father-in-law believed in using low and slow baking when it came to banana bread, and it results in a very moist and tender loaf. If you're in a rush, you can bake it at 350°F, but watch the time, as it will take less time to bake. You can also start it at 350°F and lower the temperature halfway through to 300°F. But it's easiest to just set it at 300°F and forget it, or at least until the scent of banana bread beckons you back into the kitchen.
How ripe should the bananas be? VERY ripe -- dark and spotted, soft and fragrant bananas are what you are looking for and will make the best banana bread.
Do I need to mash the bananas? If you're using a hand mixer or using arm-power, then yes. If you're using a stand mixer, you can pop the whole bananas in (as I do in the video). Keep in mind, the bananas should be very ripe (and soft).
How should I store the banana bread? First, cool the banana bread completely. A loaf takes at least 1 full hour on a wire rack to cool. Wrap the banana bread with a paper towel, and then wrap completely with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Wrapping the banana bread well will keep the banana bread from drying out, and the paper towel will absorb any excess moisture from the banana bread.