1 c. walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
1 3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 large ripe bananas, mashed well (1-1 1/2 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x5 loaf pan.
Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 7-10 minutes, or until lightly toasted. Let cool and then chop coarsely. In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nuts. Set aside. In another bowl, combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla.
Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined and the batter is lumpy. Do not overmix. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 55-60 minutes (check sooner to make sure it's not overdone). Place on a wire rack to cool and remove from pan.