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Banana Bread with Pecans

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 50 min
  • Prep: 25 min
  • Inactive: 1 hr 10 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 1 loaf
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Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 overripe bananas

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

Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes or so, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Toast the slices of banana bread, dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve.