1bananaoptional (see note above, in the Before We Get Started Section)
For the Banana Bread
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment* add the bananas, sugar and nutmeg and run the mixer on low for 1-2 minutes or until the bananas are nicely mashed up and completely combined with the sugar and nutmeg. With the machine on low, slowly stream in the cooled butter and run the machine for 1 minute. With the mixer continued on low, add in the eggs, one at a time, making sure the first is well blended before adding in the second. Add in the vanilla and run on low for 30 seconds more or until fully combined.
In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt. With the mixer on low, alternate adding the flour and milk in two batches, starting with the flour and ending with the milk and stopping when the batter looks not quite combined. Take the bowl out of the mixer and fold the batter several more times to combine being careful not to over mix. Set aside and let the batter sit for 30 minutes.
Preheat your oven to 350 F (177 C) and make sure a rack is in the center of the oven. Grease a 9x5 loaf pan and line with parchment paper letting the excess hang over the sides. Pour the batter into the baking tin; tap on the counter several times to release any trapped air bubbles. If garnishing with the banana slices, add those before the sugar. Sprinkle the sugar evenly over the top of the loaf (avoiding the banana if using). Bake in the center of the oven for 60 minutes or until the center bounces back when pressed gently or a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. If you put sliced banana over the top of the bread it may need up to 30 additional minutes to bake through (check every 10 minutes (after the 60 minute bake time) for doneness). Let sit for 10 minutes and then use the parchment overhang to pull the bread out of the pan and let the bread finish cool on a cooling rack.
*Please note that this recipe can be made without an electric stand mixer -- simply use a bowl, whisk/spatula and your well-sculpted arms.