I’ve been making the same banana bread recipe for years. I got it from an old cookbook which has long been gone. I think it was a teacher’s recipe collection from Pennsylvania. The author was Mrs. Betty Brant of Shanksville, PA. And thanks to Google, I was able to locate her obituary. She lived to be 99 years old and lived a very full life. It sounds like she was an amazing Christian woman!
When you make a recipe a lot, you change it up and figure out what works best. I’ve found a couple of things. First of all, ripe bananas, not OVERRIPE bananas, give a lighter color in the finished product. You can use almost black bananas, but I prefer them to look more like this:
Sometimes some family members don’t like nuts and others do. It’s not perfect, but at those times I pour some (I shoot for half but it doesn’t always work out that way) of the batter in the pan and tip it sideways a little to keep it to one side. Then mix the nuts in the remaining batter and pour it in the other side of the pan.
Betty’s Best Banana Bread
- ½ C. butter or margarine
- 1 C. sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 t. vanilla
- 2 C. flour
- 1 t. baking soda
- 1 t. salt
- 3 ripe mashed bananas
- ½ C. chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 325.Set butter on counter until it's at room temp, about an hour. Place in large bowl with sugar. Beat well. I use a mixer but a good wooden spoon works too. Add eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well.In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt. Add to butter mixture and blend it in. I keep the mixer on low for this process, as flour tends to fly around the kitchen. Once the flour is incorporated, mix on high for a 30 seconds or so.Peel bananas and place them in the same medium bowl. Blend using the mixer, or mash with a fork. Add to flour mixture and mix for a minute with the electric mixer or several minutes by hand. Stir in nuts, if you're using them.Grease and flour a regular size loaf pan. You can partially line it with parchment if you want. The parchment makes it really easy to lift out the loaf to a cooling rack, but it's not totally necessary. If you do line with parchment, be sure to spray the ends that don't have parchment with cooking spray or grease.Bake at 325 for 1 hour then check it by inserting a toothpick in the middle of the batter and all the way down. If it comes out clean with just a few crumbs, it's done. If it comes out with wet batter on it, put it in for 5 more minutes. Keep doing that process until toothpick comes out clean. It shouldn't take more than 1 hour and 15 minutes.Place bread or bread in pan on a cooling rack. If you pulled it out with parchment, it should be good to cut in ½ an hour. If it's cooling in a pan, let it cool for 5 minutes, then invert the pan and let it cool for ½ an hour. If you turn the pan over right away, it can cause the bread to fall apart. By letting it cool in sets it a little.Slice and enjoy!
I believe it would make her happy to know how often I’ve made her recipe over the years, and how much joy it has given my family. It’s funny how we never really know how much of a legacy we may be leaving with such a simple thing.