1shot (3 tbsp/45 ml) espresso coffee, cooled,or very strong coffee, or 1 tbsp (15 ml) instant espresso powder combined with 3 tbsp (45 ml) hot water
⅓cupchopped walnuts or pecans, sesame, hemp, or sunflower seeds, or chocolate chips(pick one or combine to total 1/3 cup)
Lightly grease a loaf pan. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and allspice.
In a second mixing bowl, whisk together the mashed bananas, eggs, buttermilk, oil, vanilla extract, and coffee. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry ingredients and, using a spatula, stir to just combine. Fold in the mix-ins of your choice.
Transfer the mixture into the prepared pan and use a spatula to flatten out the top. Bake this perfect banana bread for 60 minutes, until the top is golden brown and a long, sharp knife or a bamboo skewer inserted deep in the center of the bread comes out clean.Check the banana bread at the 50-minute mark: if it looks deep golden brown, loosely cover the top of the banana bread with aluminum foil to prevent excessive browning.
IMPORTANT BAKING NOTE: Banana bread may require a longer baking time depending on your oven, so make sure to test doneness before removing it from the oven. (See testing tip, above.) Underbaking means that upon cooling, the banana bread will deflate to a flatter, denser texture—the bottom could even be still wet. If in doubt, you're best to err on the side of baking banana bread for longer—as long as you cover the top with foil, it won't burn and you'll be sure it is cooked properly.Past the 60 minutes baking mark, check for doneness every 5 minutes. Once you've nailed the proper baking time for your oven, take a note of it. You'll know what to set your timer to next time you bake banana bread.
Transfer the perfect banana bread to a wire rack and let cool completely.
SERVING: Serve sliced banana bread at room temperature with butter, hazelnut spread, peanut butter, or jam. You can also warm up slices in a toaster oven to wake up the bread's enticing aromas.
STORAGE: Wrap perfect banana bread in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days. You can also refrigerate carefully wrapped banana bread for up to 1 week, or freeze for up to 1 month.
NOTE: How to make your own buttermilkNo buttermilk on hand? You can make just enough for this recipe in a pinch: add 1 1/2 tsp (7 ml) white vinegar or lemon juice to a measuring cup and then fill with milk up to the 1/2 cup (125 ml) mark. Stir and then let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Use as indicated in the recipe.
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