For the best banana bread, use extra ripe bananas in this recipe. Purchase your bananas a few days ahead of time and set them on the counter to ripen.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease or butter a 5 X 9-inch loaf pan.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and kosher salt together in a bowl. In a separate large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork. Stir in the sugar, egg, melted butter, buttermilk or plain yogurt, and vanilla and mix well. Fold in the dry ingredients and nuts just until moistened. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Carefully slice the remaining banana in half lengthwise and place on top of the batter.
Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the sides of the bread pull away from the pan and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool in pan for 10 minutes then remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
If choosing to add nuts, use chopped pecans or walnuts.
The bread will last for 3-4 days. Or, freeze for up to 3 months.
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