Paige’s Banana Bread

There is not one unusual or special ingredient in this banana bread – which was created by Paige Retus, Olives’ former pastry chef ¬ – but it is, hands down, the absolute best. In fact, Todd English and I were so inspired when we tasted this bread that we decided to write The Olives Dessert Table with Paige. We figured if she could work this kind of magic with banana bread, she could do anything. And she can.

Yield: 12 slices.

3 to 4 overripe bananas
1¼ cups sugar
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ cup chopped toasted walnuts

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly butter a loaf pan.

2. Place the bananas and sugar in the bowl of a mixer and whip until smooth about 2 to 3 minutes.

3. Add the butter, eggs, and vanilla extract, whipping well and scraping down the sides of the bowl before each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and add the flour, salt, baking soda, and nuts. Mix to combine.

4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and transfer it to the oven. Bake until the bread is golden brown and firm in the center about 1 hour.

5. Serve immediately or set aside to cool at room temperature, about 1 hour.

From Warehouse to Your House: More than 250 Simple, Spectacular Recipes to Cook, Store, and Share When You Buy in Quantity (Simon & Schuster, 2006)