Forget all the banana bread recipes you have tried before, the only one you need is this one. Truly the best, with an extraordinary moist texture. Discover its secret ingredient now!
I am totally obsessed with banana breads and I have tried many, many different recipes. Nature, with a pinch of cinnamon, some chocolate chips, various nuts from walnuts to pecans, and even the heavenly combination chocolate chips and dulce de leche. Express your creativity as it pleases you, bananas are very easy to pair with other ingredients.
Among all the banana breads I have tried before, my favorite of all times remains the same: a very basic one, nature, with a pinch of cinnamon and some walnuts (or pecans). This is a matter of personal taste and you might prefer the one with chocolate chips for instance. However, what really matters in a banana bread recipe is its texture. You don’t want it dry, you want it extremely moist and tender in the inside, but also on the edges.
You might think I am a weirdo, but personally my favorite part of a bread recipe (banana bread, pumpkin bread, orange loaf, etc.) is the edges combined with the moist texture of the inside, all this in one bite. If you picture it, well yes I have a very bad habit of eating a slice of banana bread, starting with the edges all around first.
So what makes a perfectly moist recipe? And more interesting here: which secret ingredient do I use to help me out? No need to make you wait any longer here, my mysterious ingredient to give a moist texture to my recipes is… buttermilk! This fermented dairy product, thicker than milk, is produced from cow’s milk and has a characteristically sour taste caused by lactic acid bacteria.
I always make my own buttermilk as it is very easy and ready in two minutes with two ingredients only: milk (whole milk preferred but semi-skimmed works too) and fresh lemon juice. Nothing more. These two ingredients together give some kind of a magical texture to many cake or bread recipes. In particular in a banana bread, buttermilk gives an extraordinary moist texture and keep it fresh for several days without getting dry.
Basic recipes are often the very best ones, the ones we should keep for life. This buttermilk banana bread is definitely one of them. Enjoy it as it is following the recipe instructions, or make it without nuts if you don’t like them or if you are allergic to them. If you do not minds the nuts, try different versions: the one with walnuts is a classic, the one with pecans is amazing. For all chocolate lovers, add some chocolate chips in the batter, stirring well. Whatever you decide, make sure you can grab a slice before it’s too late, this banana bread disappears in less time than you need to say it!
- 1½ cup all-purpose flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- 1 pinch of salt
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts (optional)*
- 1 cup caster sugar
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup buttermilk** (or substitute 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice + ½ cup milk)
- 3 very ripe bananas
- Preheat the oven to 300 F (180 C). Grease bottom and edges of one loaf pan with butter.
- Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Add walnuts if using (I recommend it) and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar. Mix in the egg. Puree the bananas with a fork and add them to the mixture. Pour in the buttermilk.**
- Add dry ingredients, alternating until incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely before serving.
** Make your own buttermilk is very easy. Just measure one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, and cover with milk until you reach ½ cup. Let sit for 5 minutes before using.