Buttermilk Banana Bread
No frills. Nothing fancy. No out-of-the-ordinary, "what the heck is that?" ingredients; just a few bananas in a very humble, very moist and very delicious loaf. It's a classic banana bread. It comes nowhere near my mother's recipe, which I grew up with and still crave to this day, and it's not really the most beautiful bread you've ever seen (hence the "humble" thing I mentioned). If you're looking for a more stunning and more indulgent banana bread, you can look no further than the Chocolate Espresso Swirl Banana Bread that will knock your socks off. It's not very humble, but it's got a little chocolatey kick to it AND you know I can't resist those swirls.
Anyway, this bread was perfect for a cold night in after a long-ish day at work. It's quick, it's easy, and it's just dang nice for breakfast or dessert (or lunch or dinner or perhaps a midday snack).
2 cups (about 4) overripe bananas, mashed, plus 1 extra for topping the loaf (optional)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare a large loaf pan (5x10) by greasing with baking spray. (If you don't have a large loaf pan, divide batter between 2 9x5 pans.) In a medium bowl, mash bananas using a fork (except the one you're using to top the loaf, if desired). Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat sugars and butter until blended. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Stir in vanilla, mashed bananas and buttermilk. Beat until smooth.
Gently fold in flour, baking soda, salt and spices and stir until just mixed. Pour batter into pan(s). Slice the remaining banana lengthwise, sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar, and lay slices on top of the batter. Bake loaf for 1 - 1 hour and 15 minutes if using one pan, 35 - 45 minutes if using two, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cool in pans for 15 minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.