Yield: one 9-inch loaf
Source: America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook
The key to great banana bread is ripe bananas. Be sure to use a 9x5" loaf pan that is at least 3" deep.
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed well (1 1/2 cups)
6 Tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups walnuts, toasted and chopped (optional)
1) Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously coat a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan with vegetable oil spray.
2) Whisk the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Whisk the mashed bananas, melted butter, eggs, yogurt, and vanilla together in a separate bowl. Gently fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture with a rubber spatula until just combined. Fold in the nuts (if using). Do not overmix; the batter will look thick and chunky.
3) Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs attached, about 55 minutes.
4) Let the loaf cool in the pan for 10 minutes before unmolding onto a wire rack to cool for 1 hour.