America's Test Kitchen's Ultimate Banana Bread : I've found 'it'!

You're here for the ultimate banana bread recipe because you think I'm holding on to one. While I'm writing this post on the ultimate banana bread recipe because I found it. So let's get on with it, shall we? 

You might be skeptical when you first read the 'ULTIMATE' banana bread recipe and likewise I was to but after watching the video and trying out the recipe personally, I'm sold. Tasting the moist banana bread with the crunchy caramelized crust, I reassured you that this IS the perfect banana recipe. 
I have tried numerous banana bread recipe and somehow it doesn't compare to store bought one but this is the game changer. Be sure to use Malaysia bananas or local bananas instead of the Dole or Philippine bananas that seemingly tries to make up what they lack in flavour, in their looks; Don't judge a book by its cover. 

I strongly urge you to give this a try because this is a keeper for me and I know I'll be bake it again very soon!
America's Test Kitchen Ultimate Banana Bread Recipe
(Adapted From Food4Wibowo)

1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon table salt
6 large very ripe bananas (about 2 1/4 pounds), peeled (see note)
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
2 large eggs
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray 8 1⁄2 by 4 1⁄2-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk flour, baking soda, and salt together in large bowl.

Place 5 bananas in microwave-safe bowl; cover with plastic wrap and cut several steam vents in plastic with paring knife. Microwave on high power until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes. Transfer bananas to fine-mesh strainer placed over medium bowl and allow to drain, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes (you should have 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup liquid).

Transfer liquid to medium saucepan and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 1⁄4 cup, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat, stir reduced liquid into bananas, and mash with potato masher until fairly smooth.

Whisk in butter, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla. Pour banana mixture into flour mixture and stir until just combined with some streaks of flour remaining. Gently fold in walnuts, if using. Scrape batter into prepared pan.

Slice remaining banana diagonally into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices. Shingle banana slices on top of either side of loaf, leaving 1 1⁄2-inch-wide space down center to ensure even rise. Sprinkle granulated sugar evenly over loaf.

Bake until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, 55 to 75 minutes.

Cool bread in pan on wire rack 15 minutes, then remove loaf from pan and continue to cool on wire rack.
Serve warm or at room temperature.


Be sure to use very ripe, heavily speckled (or even black) bananas in this recipe.

This recipe can be made using 5 thawed frozen bananas; since they release a lot of liquid naturally, they can bypass the microwaving in step 2 and go directly into the fine-mesh strainer.

Do not use a thawed frozen banana in step 4; it will be too soft to slice. Instead, simply sprinkle the top of the loaf with sugar.

The test kitchen’s preferred loaf pan measures 8 1⁄2 by 4 1⁄2 inches; if you use a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan, start checking for doneness five minutes earlier than advised in the recipe.

The texture is best when the loaf is eaten fresh, but it can be stored (cool completely first), covered tightly with plastic wrap, for up to 3 days.


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