1.22.2010

The Best Ever Banana Bread - Recipe


This is Grandma Jone's banana bread recipe.  It is the best!  I know there are a lot of banana bread recipes out there, I've even tried a few of them.  This is the winner.  Look no further for the best tasting and best crumb banana bread. (Unfortunately it is not the healthiest, but it does use real butter and a real banana!)  It's terribly rich and buttery with a crisp crust and tender moist inside.  It is the right amount of sweet, just sweet enough to qualify for a dessert in my cook book. 

The secret to Grandma's banana bread is buttermilk.  It adds a little bit of acidity so the baking soda reacts and the bread raises well. If you don't have buttermilk on hand, I listed some easy substitutions in the ingredient list. 

The perfect banana for banana bread is when the banana has black speckles all over and the peel has turned soft and crepe-y. I was a little impatient.  I had a stressful morning and I felt like baking.  I won't eat a banana that's not the perfect ripeness (just a hint of green left in the peal).  So what else was I going to do with it.  I only had one banana so I scaled the recipe for one banana.  It made a nice little loaf of the Best Banana Bread Ever. 

It was really tasty.  The smell of baking bread brought Jeff out and as soon as I got my pictures he was into it.  There might be 1/3 of the loaf left.  I had two slices then I made myself stop.  That took some serious will power. 

Best Banana Bread Ever

1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (one banana)
1/4 cup walnuts or pecans
1/2 tablespoon butter milk*

**If you don’t have butter milk on hand add a couple drops of lemon juice or vinegar to milk or use sour cream in the same amount.


  1. Start by setting out the butter and eggs. Bringing them up to room temperature will make the batter better. Let them sit for at least an hour at room temperature. If you are in a hurry, microwave the butter for 10 seconds and stir it to distribute the heat. Try not to liquefy the butter. And in the end cold eggs, won’t make bad bread.
     
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla and butter milk and mix it until smooth.
     
  3. In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients.
     
  4. Add the dry mixture and the banana to the butter mixture. Add a little at a time and mix after each addition. Stir in the nuts. Ideally you will mix just until all the ingredients are moist. Over mixing will react all the baking powder and soda. This makes the texture of the bread dense and heavy. So less work equals better bread. That’s the way it should be.
     
  5. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan (9×5x3″). Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until a sharp knife poked in, comes out clean.
     
  6. Remove the bread from the pan immediately to avoid soggy crust. Let the bread cool on a rack for at least five minutes before cutting. When cool, cover and store.
This is my last bite I swear!

30 comments:

  1. This looks so good I can almost smell it through my computer. I've got some very ripe bananas here so I think I'll try this one out today~

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  2. I was looking for a recipe for the lonely banana ripening atop the fridge....then I spotted Cy...are either of you ISU alums?

    As an alternative to scaling down the banana content, I've also found making up the difference in volume with some form of nut-butter works well...

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  3. Yes we are in fact Iowa State Alumni! Go Cyclones! or something like that. I never was much into sports.

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  4. Thanks for the great recipe, and for checking out my blog! Can't wait to try more of your recipes! :)

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  5. i am just about to try the recipe...but is it correct only 1/2 tbsp buttermilk? perhaps should be 1/2 cup? just checking... :-)

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  6. It doesn't take much. All you need is a 1/2 tablespoon. Sometimes if I don't have a enough banana to make get to a half cup I use sour cream to reach the right ammount. It makes the bread a little tangier, but in a good way.

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  7. thanks...i jumped the gun and made it with 1/2 cup of buttermilk (i was sooooo certain that it was a typo :-) !!!) turned out pretty darn good anyhows...and there is not a crumb left...

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  8. Great recipe! Thanks for sharing this to us. I have tried it and it was definitely the best banana bread I have ever tasted. It went really well with a hot cup of coffee. I suggest you compare coffee makers first to find the one that makes a great cup of coffee. Great pics too. Please continue to share more recipes. Kudos!

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  9. Hello i love the banana bread is delicious so good i can eat it all the time .so good and so easy to make -.

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  10. I love banana bread. I add peanut butter and chocolate chips to mine to make it a tad more of a treat...but balance it out with whole wheat flour. Sadly, my family ate it up before I got the chance to photograph it, but here's the recipe if you're interested! http://foodfitnessfreshair.com/2009/11/29/peanut-butter-chocolate-chip-banana-bread/

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  11. Yum! There is nothing quite like a great piece of banana bread!

    Wonderful recipe!!

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  12. Tottally agree. Buttermilk totally makes the difference.

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  13. Such a beautiful banana bread. I'm sure this wouldn't be quite the same if veganized, though, so I'll just adore your pictures... :)

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  14. oooh- I may have to convert this to GF- that looks really really good! I use a lot of buttermilk in my gf baking for exactly the reasons you outlined- it gives more lift. I use honey as well- because honey is also acidic and helps with the chemical reaction.

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  15. You had me at rich and buttery!
    Is Grandma Jone your grandma? I love recipes that are handed down.

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  16. This looks delicious. I love banana bread. YUM YUM YUM!!

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  17. I luv banana bread and butter is always a good thing in baked goods. I look fwd to trying it! :)

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  18. This recipe is really suitable for me since no one else in the family likes banana bread, small enough for me to consume in a couple of days! Waiting for my banana to ripen! Thanks for sharing:D

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  19. Oooh, I'll definitely have to give this recipe a try. I love banana bread!

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  20. Very nice looking banana bread. That is my attempt today, but mine is more like a banana cake made in a 9x9x2 pan. My recipe comes to me through a family friend that has made it through many generations. I can't wait to try it. I love following your blog.
    Did you know you can slice banana bread and make French toast with it? Just put the banana bread in place of bread you would normally use to make French toast. Top it with butter and maple syrup, it is amazing...

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  21. So many banana bread recipes, and so little time!
    Too busy voting:) There's always time to make banana bread! I will try this one, since it's from your Grandma!

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  22. Man, I love banana bread. My favorite recipe is this one (but I'm anxious to try yours!): http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=549765

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  23. It seems delicious. The next time to make banana bread I will make this recipe

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  24. i have a couple of banana bread recipes that i make alternately. i will definitely make yours next!

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  25. We don't have buttermilk in stores here in Puerto Rico so I use plain yogurt. Its great in muffins, banana bread and biscuits. Thanks for the connection.

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  26. I absolutely love banana nut bread, my mom used to always make the most amazing when I was growing up. This looks so light and airy in comparison to what I'm used to seeing with banana bread. I'm interested with your recipe and want to try making this gluten free (hopefully it will be a success!)

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  27. I love a good banana bread, may actually embark on a cake made with: one layer your banana bread, one layer zucchini bread, one layer carrot cake. And of course, cream cheese frosting.

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  28. Wow, this is wonderful bread, better than any I've tried before. Made 2 loaves and used pecans.

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  29. I really loved reading your blog. It was very well written and simple to undertand. Unlike additional blogs I have read. I also found it very interesting. In fact after reading, I had to go show the spouse and she ejoyed it as well!
    Banana Nut Bread

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  30. I never considered adding buttermilk - what a great idea! Mine is always very dark and dense, so it was really nice to see a pretty, light loaf. I can't wait to try this...

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