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.
1/2 cup sugar
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.
- 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.
- In a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the egg, vanilla and butter milk and mix it until smooth.
- In a large bowl mix together all the dry ingredients.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!