Glenys' Best Banana Bread   

2 large or 3 medium bananas, black ripe (1 cup mashed banana, although I've gone as high at 1 1/3 cups)
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 egg
1 1/3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla or dark rum (optional)

Mash or purée the bananas and buttermilk until smooth. Add the baking soda and mix. This activates the baking soda and neutralizes the soda taste.

Cream the brown sugar and butter together until smooth. Beat in the egg. Add the banana purée and combine. The mixture often appears curdled at this stage.

Add the baking powder to the flour; add gradually to the banana mixture. Stir just enough to combine evenly. Flavour with the extract.

Pour into sprayed or greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch pan.
Fill the pan 2/3 full for even cooking.

Bake in a preheated 375°F oven until set, about 45-50 minutes.
Use a wooden skewer to test the centre.

Leave in the pan for 10-15 minutes before turning out. Do not leave in the pan as the loaves sweat and become soggy.

Glenys' NOTES: I use a different recipe for muffins but this is my favourite banana bread. When I find the bananas black-ripe, I'll buy lots, mash and freeze them for later use. It's just not the same with under ripe bananas.

This is the recipe as I baked it at the "Tomato."

Following dear Shirley's method, I add the soda to the buttermilk, which improves the taste (I hate those leaveners) and actually solved a mysterious problem at the cafe with new bakers.

Makes 1 loaf

Glenys' Best Banana Bread