My grandma was a better baker than yours. There, I said it.
Actually, I didn't know my grandmother that well. I hear that she was a semi-professional baker and quite talented in the kitchen, but she died when I was pretty young. Thankfully, I was blessed with a piece of family heritage, a cookbook that used to belong to my mother that includes many of my grandma's recipes. I feel close to my grandmother while I'm baking, even though I didn't know her for very long.
Banana bread is the most searched for baking recipe on the web. I have never had to search for a good recipe though, because I've always had the old family recipe from my childhood. This is hands down one of my favorite recipes ever. Part of it is nostalgia - everyone has those special childhood flavors - but a lot of it is the fact that this recipe is GOOD! The boyfriend and I actually love this recipe so much that I made two batches - one to eat immediately, and one for you lovely people.
here's the original recipe, in my Grandma's handwriting
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 2/4 tsp. salt
- 2 large eggs
- 2 or 3 ripe bananas (I normally use 2 big ones)
- 2/3 cups sugar
- 1/2 cups walnuts (optional but recommended)
- 1/3 cup shortening
- In one bowl combine your dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt)
- In another bowl, cream together your shortening and sugar. (See this post for info on creaming)
- Add your eggs to the creamed shortening and sugar and beat until smooth, then add the dry ingredients and mix.
- Add chopped walnuts and mashed bananas and mix until smooth.
- Pour the mixture into a greased and floured loaf pan. I highly recommend Pam's non-stick spray for baking. It has a slightly sweet flavor that is not good for savory baked goods, but it works really well for cakes, cupcakes, muffins, cookies and sweet breads.
- Bake at 350 degrees (F) until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 45-55 minutes, start with a shorter amount of time and monitor)