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Classic Banana Bread

Banana bread is a perennial favorite. It has everything: deep flavor, great texture, and the ability to fill your house with the aroma of a bakery. This recipe makes a single loaf of bread that is rich, moist, and very "banana-y." Note that the easiest way to mash bananas is to pulse them in a food processor or blender until they're the consistency you prefer.

1 c sugar
1/2 c butter, at room temperature
3 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs, beaten, at room temperature
2 c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 to 1 c chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8" or 9" loaf pan.

Cream butter and sugar. Add bananas and eggs. Beat well. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together; add to batter, mixing until all dry ingredients are moistened. Add chopped walnuts, if you're using them. Pour into loaf pan and bake 1 hour.

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