1/2 cup melted unsalted butter or vegetable oil, plus more for greasing pan
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup buttermilk, sour cream or yogurt
1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 soft, very ripe, darkly speckled medium bananas, mashed (about 1 1/2 cups)
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly butter one 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
• Whisk together the flour, pecans, granulated sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt and nutmeg in a large bowl. Whisk together the eggs, melted butter, buttermilk, brown sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl; stir in the mashed bananas. Fold the banana mixture into the flour mixture until just combined (it’s OK if there are some lumps).
• Pour the batter into the buttered pan and lightly tap the pan on the counter to evenly distribute the batter. Bake until browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out completely clean, about 1 hour. Let the bread cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a rack to cool completely.
To make this banana bread nut-free, just leave out the pecans and follow the rest of the recipe as written.