The smell of this bread warms my heart… just like a family recipe should. Serve this banana bread warm with butter, and you are in for a special treat!
Might I add that a certain 13.5-month-old can’t seem to get enough of it? Well, my son would probably eat the whole loaf if I let him!
A simple collection of ingredients:
The bananas must be very ripe. They shouldn’t have any tinge of green or firmness. Banana Bread is a perfect use for bananas which have been forgotten about. Did you know monkeys peel bananas from the end which doesn’t connect to the bunch? It keeps the strings from the peel from sticking to the fruit inside. Try it!
Begin by mixing the shortening and sugar. Blend it until the shortening becomes fluffy and the sugar is well incorporated.
Add the eggs and bananas. I blend up the eggs a little with my hand mixer in the bowl before combining them with the shortening/sugar and bananas. Also, I like to have tiny chunks of bananas in the bread, so I just break it in smaller chunks rather than mashing them before adding to the bowl.
Next, add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until blended. Then stir it by hand a few times. If you overmix quick breads (or muffins) the texture won’t be quite right. The tops will peak too much, and they’ll be tough and chewy.
Spread into a greased loaf pan. I like to sprinkle a fine layer of sugar on the batter at this point. Personally, I think the extra sweetness of the top crust makes it just that much better. If you have turbinado sugar, or another coarse sugar, all the better!
Bake it for about an hour. I always end up baking it closer to 1 hour 10 minutes. Cover any parts that are browning too much with foil. Test the bread for doneness with a toothpick: insert it near the center, remove, and check for batter. If you see batter, it’s not done yet. If it just has a few crumbs on it, it is ready!
Let it cool in the pan for a few minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Storing quick breads can be tricky. They can be stored in plastic bags, or wrapped with plastic wrap. The bread must be completely cooled, as any warmth will create condensation in the container and spoil the bread. If you store the bread unprotected, it will dry out much too quickly. Any tips you can offer for better storage of quick breads and muffins are appreciated by all!
I hope you enjoy this bread as much as I do!
Great Grandma Sara’s Banana Bread
An heirloom to me
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, slightly beaten
3 ripe bananas, crushed
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of salt (1/8 teaspoon)
Cream shortening and sugar. Add eggs and bananas; mix. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to mixture and mix well. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
Makes 1 loaf.