As my little bio section mentions, I learned how to cook from my fabulous mother. I have several recipes of hers that are my go-to favorites. This banana bread is one of them!
Cream shortening and sugar with a mixer on medium high speed for 5 minutes until it is light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time, and beat well. Add bananas, one at a time, and mix. Add baking soda and salt, mix, then add the flour slowly. Scrape the bowl and stir in nuts (if desired). Pour into 1 large loaf pan that has been greased and floured. Bake at 350 degrees for an hour or so or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and finish cooling on a wire rack. Slice, top with a little butter, and enjoy!
In all my years of cooking, I have seen the phrase “cream sugar and butter” and never fully understood the reasoning or length of time it took to do this properly. To give your baked goods a fluffier end result, you should let these 2 ingredients mix for a good 5 minutes! Seriously! They become a really light, almost white, yellow color and all that mixing makes a lot of tiny little air bubbles – that is what makes your finished product so fluffy! I had never done that before when making this banana bread, and after all the stinkin’ (fluffy) cupcakes I’ve made recently, I decided to try to mix the first two ingredients longer and see if the bread turned out fluffier. It totally did!
One thing I can’t stress enough – make sure you have all the ingredients before you go to the grocery store, not in the middle of mixing… I was somehow completely out of baking soda, and, after some Google-ing, I found out that baking powder can be substituted. However, apparently baking soda is four times stronger than baking powder (according to some website – don’t quote me on that one), so I had to use FOUR teaspoons of baking powder (which didn’t affect the taste at all – one site I read said it would). Maybe that is part of the reason this loaf was so much fluffier… whatever the reason, it was DELISH!
So THANKS MOM for all the cooking skills and fabulous recipes you’ve passed on! I know I’m a week late, but Happy Mother’s Day all over again – you’re the BEST!