3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
Confectioner's sugar, for dusting
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9 by 5 inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. Wtih an electric mixer fitted with a wire whisk, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together for a good 3 minutes; you want a light and fluffy banana cream. Add the melted butter, eggs and vanilla; beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated; no need to overly blend. Fold in the nuts and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan Give the pan a good rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.
Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Don't get nervous if the banana bread develops a crack down the center of the loaf, that's no mistake, it's typical. Rotate the pan periodically to ensure even browning. Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Toast the slices of banana bread, dust with confectioner's sugar and serve.
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