Best Banana Bread

Whenever I have some overripe bananas, I do one of two things: cook them in brown sugar and butter (as my mother did) or make banana bread.  I have tried lots and lots of banana bread recipes, but this is the best in my book.  Thank you, Martha!

Best Banana Bread
Makes one large loaf
Adapted from The Martha Stewart Cookbook

1 stick unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup ripe bananas, mashed (2 bananas)
1/2 cup sour cream (or full fat plain yogurt)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line the bottom of a 9x5x3" loaf pan with parchment paper leaving two long ends (called a sling).

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light yellow.  Add the eggs and beat until fluffy.

Combine the flours, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl.  Add to the butter mixture and beat well.  Add the bananas, sour cream and vanilla.  Stir well using a rubber scraper.  Stir in the nuts (if using) and pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Spread the batter evenly and smooth the top with the rubber scraper.  Tamp the bottom of the pan against a countertop several times to release any trapped air bubbles.

Bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then lift the loaf out of the pan using the parchment paper sling. Set on a rack to finish cooling.  When cooled, slice and serve.