The Secret to Flavorful Banana Bread

We have a secret -- we roast our bananas to bring out their natural sugars before adding them to our banana bread batter. See how we do it!

-There's nothing like the welcoming aroma of fresh baked banana bread wafting through your home, and it's delicious any time of the day. First, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Next, grease the insides of a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. If you prefer 2, make 2 smaller loaves with two 7.5 x 3.5 x 2 inch loaf pans. Set the prepared baking pan aside. And now, we'll roast bananas. Line a large shallow baking pan with foil. Roasting the bananas caramelizes the natural sugars, adding additional sweetness and moisture to the bread. This is the secret to the wonderful flavor of this recipe. Arrange 5 unpeeled bananas in the pan, the ripper the better. Use a fork to pierce holes in the bananas at 1-inch intervals. Place the pan in the oven and roast the bananas for 20 minutes. Keeping the oven on, lower the temperature to 350 degrees. Remove the bananas and allow them to cool. Once the bananas have cooled, use a small sharp knife to split their skins. Remove the roasted banana pulp. Mash them until they're smooth. Measure out 1-1/2 cups for the recipe and reserve any remaining roasted banana for another use. Now, let's prepare the batter. Measure 2 cups of all-purpose flour into a large bowl. Add 1-1/2 teaspoons of baking powder, half a teaspoon of baking soda, a half teaspoon of ground cinnamon, a quarter teaspoon of salt, a quarter teaspoon of ground nutmeg, and an 8th of a teaspoon of ground ginger. Stir the dry ingredients together then make a well in the center of the bowl. Set it aside. Next, let's mix up the wet ingredients. Crack 2 eggs into a medium bowl and use a fork to beat them lightly. Add 1 cup of sugar and half a cup of vegetable oil. You can use melted butter here as a replacement for the oil if you'd prefer. Stir well. Next, add the 1-1/2 cups of roasted bananas and stir again. Pour the egg mixture all at once into the well you made in a bowl of dry ingredients. And stir the batter gently until it's just moistened. The batter will be a bit lumpy and that's fine. You don't wanna overstir. Add a quarter cup of chopped walnuts, stir gently, and then pour the batter into the prepared pan. Next, let's mix up the streusel nut topping. Measure 3 tablespoons of packed brown sugar into a small bowl. Add 2 tablespoons of flour and 4 teaspoons of butter. Use a pastry blender to combine the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Then stir in a quarter cup of chopped walnuts. Sprinkle the streusel nut topping on to the batter. Place the pan into the oven. Bake the banana bread about 55 to 60 minutes. If you're making 2 smaller loaves, the baking time will be less, 45 to 55 minutes. To prevent over browning, you may want to loosely cover the loaf with foil for the last 15 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a wooden toothpick into its center to see if it comes out clean. Once the bread is done, cool it on a wire rack for about 10 minutes then remove the loaf from the pan and cool it completely on the rack. It will be hard to resist, but if you wrap the banana bread well and store it overnight, it will slice beautifully. Now that your home smells of delicious banana bread, consider making a double batch next time because this loaf will go quickly.