Banana Bread

No matter how hard I try, my bananas always seem to ripen quicker than I can eat them.  But that’s perfectly okay because now I can make a wonderful loaf of banana bread.  Using really ripe bananas is the key: as they ripen, the starches in the fruit concentrate, which means more sugars and a stronger banana flavor.  I love the moist density of the bread contrasted against the sweet crisp crust that is made from the turbinado sugar topping.  With this recipe in your baking arsenal, you’ll never have to toss a mushy freckled banana into the compost bin ever again!
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Ingredients:
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 1/4 cup brown sugar
– 1/2 cup butter (room temperature)
– 2 eggs
– 3 ripe bananas
– 2 cups flour
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar, for the top crust.
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1.  Preheat oven to 325F.  Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.  In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking power, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
2.  In a medium bowl, mash the bananas (I like to use a potato masher).  Set aside.
3.  In another large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy, then thoroughly mix in the eggs and mashed bananas.  Stir in the flour mixture until just combined.  Spread the batter into the prepared loaf pan, then evenly cover the top with the turbinado sugar.
4.  Bake at 325F for 60 – 70 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Rotate the bread halfway through baking to ensure even cooking.  Allow to cool before removing from pan.
5.  Wasn’t that easy?  Now go eat!
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*  For an extra fancy touch, add 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts to the bread.  Mix half of them into the batter and sprinkle the rest on top with the turbinado sugar.

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