• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
• 4 overripe bananas
• 1 cup sugar
• 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
• 2 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup pecans, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set aside.
Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl so they still have a bit of texture. With 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 the prepared loaf pan. Give the pan a good rap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.
Bake for 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 during baking to ensure even browning.
Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.