This bread is best with wildly overripe bananas. I like to take spotty bananas and throw them in the freezer until I'm ready to make bread. They're typically fine there for a few months. Just pull them out of the freezer 30 minutes to an hour before you're ready to bake so they can thaw. They will look and feel absolutely disgusting, but the moistness of the bread generated by the overly ripe bananas and buttermilk will win you over.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
¾ c. butter
1½ c. sugar
1½ c. mashed bananas (usually 3 regular sized bananas)
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
½ c. buttermilk (<-- essential!)
¾ c. chopped nuts (I prefer pecans, but walnuts work)
Cream butter and sugar together in large mixing bowl. Blend mashed bananas, eggs and vanilla well into butter mixture. Sift dry ingredients and add to mixture a little at a time, alternating with buttermilk. Stir in nuts.
Grease and flour loaf pan(s). Fill pan(s) about 2/3 full. I like to line what will be the crease (center of the loaf) with pecan halves, before baking, to make things look pretty. Makes 1 large or 2 medium loaves. Bake for about 1 hour 15 minutes.
[Banana bread picture courtesy Hetleigh76 @ Flickr]