I have made a banana loaf before. It's not my favorite dessert to make. But my husband likes bananas in desserts and we always manage to have bananas around the house that are getting too sweet so I am always looking for recipes to use bananas in. The easiest thing is a banana loaf. By the way I call it a loaf and not a bread because personally I think breads should be savory. But obviously it's too dense to be a cake so I call it a loaf. Ok I usually make my banana loaf with bits of chocolate inside and I guess I could have added chocolate to the following recipe, but the pretty picture of the banana loaf with the brown sugar called to me so I left the recipe as is.
Something interesting about this recipe is it has an additional step which is to get rid of the extra moisture. Most banana loaf recipes I have found don't have this step. I thought why the heck not and tried it anyway. I thought the loaf came out a bit more denser than other recipes but still quite tasty.
I also didn't add the bananas on the side because I just didn't.
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
6 large, very ripe bananas (about 2¼ lbs.), peeled
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
¾ cup packed light brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tsp. granulated sugar
Preheat the oven to 350˚ F. Lightly spray a loaf pan (about 9 x 5 inches) with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt; whisk together and set aside.
Place 5 bananas in a microwave safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap and make several slits in the wrap to act as steam vents. Microwave on high until the bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bananas to a fine mesh strainer set over a medium bowl and let drain, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes (you should have ½-¾ cup liquid).
Transfer the reserved banana liquid to a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to about ¼ cup, 5-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. In a large bowl, combine the bananas and the reduced banana liquid. Mash with a potato masher or whisk until fairly smooth. Whisk in the melted butter, eggs, brown sugar and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl with the banana mixture. Fold together gently, just until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth with a spatula.
Slice the remaining banana diagonally into ¼-inch thick slices. Layer the banana slices along both sides of the top of the batter, leaving a couple of inches in the center to allow an even rise. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the assembled loaf.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55-75 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool at least 15 minutes in the pan before removing. Continue to cool and serve warm or at room temperature.