There was nothing much better than Mom’s banana bread. There is still nothing much better than Mom’s banana bread.
I grew up with this recipe. Well, I never made it, but my mom did. And I loved little more than coming home from school to a fresh loaf of banana bread. With a giant smear of peanut butter on my slice, of course.
I love quick breads. You will likely see a lot of quick breads pop up here. And I’ve dabbled with various banana bread recipes too- and you’ll likely see many of those here as well. But when I have those almost black bananas sitting on my counter and I don’t have a whole lot of time, or extra ingredients in the house, you better believe this banana bread will be in the oven.
You see, the trouble I have with a lot of quick breads is the texture. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve lovingly mixed the ingredients to a quick bread, breathed in the enticing scent of the bread as it baked, peered at a gorgeous loaf cooling on the counter, only to slice into this gummy, almost paste-y, gee-didn’t-I-have-this-in-the-oven-long-enough mess. You know what I’m talking about, right?
You don’t. Oh . . . well, moving on.
That’s what I love about this recipe. It never lets me down. I get a no fail, perfectly moist, soft crumb, cracked top loaf of banana bread every single time. And the other best part about this recipe? It’s truly banana bread– not even a drop of extract in this puppy. Nope. Banana is where it’s at. You want to taste banana in your banana bread? Look no further.
So some of you may be glancing at the recipe and say, “shortening? Shortening, really?” Yes- really. I actually think that the flavorless attribute of shortening is what allows the banana to really be the star flavor. Banana is not competing with butter. Now, I love butter- don’t get me wrong. And you certainly could substitute softened butter in place of the shortening if you really wanted to (no oil, though. Your ratio of wet and dry ingredients will be off if you try oil). But if you’ve never made banana bread with shortening, do give this a try.
If you want the very best banana bread, be sure you use over ripe bananas. You know, those almost black ones sitting on your counter that risk being thrown away if you don’t do something quick. Those are the ones you want to use. I often buy too many bananas than I know we’ll go through on purpose, so I’ll have these guys sitting around in a few days.
You will sift together your dry ingredients and set those aside. Then cream together your shortening and sugar and to this you’ll add your eggs, one at a time. And don’t forget to mash up those bananas. Should be pretty easy if you are using those much-too-ripe-to-eat ones.
Now you are ready to mix it all together. A word about mixing, as I’m sure many of you know, but you don’t just want to dump everything in your bowl at once. You need to alternate adding your flour mixture (the dry ingredients) with your smashed banana (the wet ingredients) to your creamed shortening/sugar/eggs. Always start with dry and end with dry. I add my dry ingredients in 4 parts, and my wet in 3.
Once you have it all mixed you will have some of the most delicious banana bread batter you will have taste. Because, you will taste it, of course. I mean, how can you resist this thick almost brownie batter like mixture. Go ahead, resist it, I dare ya. If you do, you’ll be missing out on the best things about this bread- the batter.
Now pop it in your prepared pans and let it bake for just under an hour. All ovens vary, I’m sure know that. Mine takes about 55 minutes to get fully done, but start checking yours around the 45 minute mark. If it isn’t done, just tack on about 5 minutes and check again. You may need to tent your loaf with some foil if it looks like the top is getting a little too brown before it is completely done baking.
Now comes the hard part- letting it cool.
This bread disappears in about a day around here. We will all have a big slice at breakfast, and the kids love this for a snack. If I’m hungry before bed, I’ll sneak another piece. Like I said, you can’t go wrong with this bread. Try it- it may just become your favorite too.
- • 1¾ cup all purpose flour
- • 1 teaspoon baking powder
- • ½ teaspoon baking soda
- • ½ teaspoon salt
- •1/3 cup shortening
- • ½ cup sugar
- • 2 eggs, room temperature is best
- • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas, about 2-3 bananas
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Lightly grease a 9x5 loaf pan with shortening and flour, or use non stick spray
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, cream together shortening and sugar.
- To the creamed shortening and sugar, add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In alternating steps, add your flour mixture and mashed bananas to your creamed mix (begin end with the dry ingredients)
- Pour batter in prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 45-50 minutes.