300 g [2 cups] sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
125 g [1/2 cup] unsalted butter - softened at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
2 eggs - slightly beaten
1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180C/fan 160C/350F/gas mark 4. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan with butter or shortening (or put paper liners in a 12-cup muffin pan).
- Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a container.
- Beat together sugar, butter and vanilla at moderate mixer speed for about 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- With mixer running, beat in eggs, then bananas.
- By hand, stir in flour mixture alternately with buttermilk, mixing after each addition only enough to moisten dry ingredients. (Add dry ingredients in thirds, buttermilk in two additions.)
- Stir in walnuts. Spoon batter into prepared pan, spreading well to corners.
- Bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes (25-30 minutes for muffins) or until loaf is richly browned, begins to pull away from the sides of pan and is springy to the touch.
- Cool bread in wire rack for 10 minutes. Loosen loaf around edge with a small thin metal spatula. Invert; turn right side up. Cool completely.
*Note: If you don't have any buttermilk, you can make some: for every cup of buttermilk, put in 1 Tbsp vinegar or lemon juice in a non-metal container then add milk to make 1 cup; do not stir, let stand and curdle for about 15 minutes.