Yes, there are a millions of banana bread recipes, I’ve tried several over the years.They're too dry. They don't rise. They're mushy in the center. They fall, they slump, or they crack.
Nevertheless, I always end up coming back to my family’s personal favorite… the one I created in 1981. This banana bread is soft,, moist sweet, nutty, packed with banana flavor and just a tad crusty on the outside.
Step 1: Ingredients:
1/2 cup Crisco shortening
1 1/2 cups mashed very ripe bananas (about 4 medium bananas)
2 1/2 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp. lemon zest, optional
3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped, toasted (optional)
Step 2: OVERRIPE BANANAS:
Are essential to the success of this quick bread. As a banana ripens the starch in the fruit changes. An unripe banana is full of complex carbohydrates, but as the banana becomes overripe the starch changes to simple sugars. This process makes the banana taste sweeter. Bananas also become softer as they ripen, which makes them easier to mash and adds a density to recipes.
Facts: Overripe banana is packed with antioxidants. A brown-spotted banana is a sign that the antioxidant levels have increased. The brown spots form when the chlorophyll in the fruit begins to break down and turn into antioxidants. Antioxidants are extremely beneficial for your body because they may prevent or delay some types of cell damage and lower the risk of certain diseases. A great way to use an overripe banana is in a smoothie.
Step 3: Directions:
Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease and flour only the bottoms of 2 8½ by 4½-inch light-colored metal loaf pans, preferably aluminum.
Step 4: Mixer Bowl:
In a large mixer bow, beat sugar,Crisco and eggs for 3 minutes.
Step 5: Bananas:
Peel off the entire over-ripe banana peels and remove or cut off both ends of the banana tips.
Break the bananas into a small bowl. Using the bottom of a spoon or fork to press down on the bananas until the bananas are well mashed.
Note: If using lemon zest, add to the mashed banana mixture.
Blend in the mashed ripe bananas, mixing until combined.
Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Reserve 1 tbsp. of flour mixture, setting aside (for coating nuts).
Combine reserved 1 tbsp. flour with chopped nuts, coating the nuts with flour before adding to your batter will keep them from sinking to the bottom.
Sir flour mixture into butter mixture with a wooden spoon, just until well blended with some streaks of flour remaining.
Gently fold in the flour coated walnuts, if using.
Pour batter equally into the prepared loaf pans.
Smooth out the batter once you’ve poured it into the pan. Gently ‘tap’ loaf pans on counter to remove air bubbles that may have gotten trapped in the batter… this is especially important with thick batters. Removing air bubbles ensures your banana breads won’t fall later.
Step 13: Baking:
Place loaf pans into preheated oven.
Bake 43-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Step 15: Cooling:
Cool banana bread in pans 10 minutes before removing wire racks.
Remove the banana breads from loaf pans and cool completely on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Step 17: Honey Butter Spread
I make honey cinnamon butter to spread on banana bread. I don’t add cinnamon to the banana bread batter because some of my family members don’t care for cinnamon.
In a small bowl combine ½ cup (3 tbsps.) softened butter (room temperature) with approximately 1 tbsp. honey and ¼ tsp. cinnamon. Mixing until well combined. Cream together until well blended. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
The bread can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 3 days. It can also be frozen (the wrapped loaf should then be placed in an re-sealable freezer bag or double-wrapped with foil) for up to 2 months.