The Best Banana Bread

I love food that’s served with a story.  Not that everything needs a story.  Sometimes the idea you have for that new brownie-peanut butter cookie-banana cream pie hybrid recipe is just as inspiring as that shabby old note card for bean dip that’s been passed down on your mother’s side for eight generations.

Not the prettiest, but trust me, it’s soooo delicious.

Don’t worry, this post is not about bean dip from the 18th century.  I highly doubt they had bean dip back then anyway.  At least, my Eastern European ancestors probably didn’t.

This post is about banana bread.  There is a literal myriad of banana bread recipes out there, and every time I come across one, I calmly read it, appreciate it, and move on.  Because I’ve already got a fantastic banana bread recipe, courtesy of my mother.

This is the banana bread I grew up eating, whose smell could banish any amount of Saturday morning drowsiness from my sleepy head.  Now, it’s the banana bread that Luke calls his favorite, the banana bread we first made together in a tiny apartment kitchen back in college.

We bonded over this banana bread, a bond that led to a relationship, an engagement, and in a few months, a marriage.  Yes, it’s that good.  It’s a moist bread, with a tender, dense crumb bursting with banana flavor.  I’ve been tempted to add chocolate, nutella or peanut butter to this recipe to see what would happen, but as of yet, I have not had the courage to make such an alteration. Maybe someday I will.  And I will dub my new creation my own and serve it to my own sleepy-headed children.  Obviously, I’ve got quite a few years to perfect it!

Mom’s Banana Bread

Recipe via my mom

Makes two 9×5” loaf pans or 1 bundt/tube pan

(I like to halve the recipe to make one loaf pan)

1 cup (two sticks) unsalted butter, softened

3 cups sugar

2 tsp vanilla extract

4 large eggs

3½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

½ cup buttermilk

6 small or 4 medium bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and vanilla extract until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add dry ingredients alternately with buttermilk, starting and ending with the dry ingredients.  Stir in the mashed bananas.

Pour batter into greased loaf pans or bundt/tube pan and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes for the loaf pans and 1½ -1 ¾ hours for the bundt/tube pan.  Cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes, invert and serve!

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