The banana bread recipes like those we find today that contain mashed bananas were first found in cookbooks during the 1930s. In the late 1800s bananas were used only in fritters, salads, pies or in gelatin concoctions and were cut into slices. In the early 1900s recipes for cakes with bananas became popular but those were only plain cake with a filling and sliced bananas between the layers.
The early banana breads of the 1930s were usually a nut bread recipe that added the fruit in mashed form, not sliced. The resulting batter was baked into cakes, muffins and loaves. The products produced were classified as tea cakes, quick breads or desserts. Banana bread remains one of the tastiest recipes to use up over ripe bananas.
This recipe does not contain chopped nuts as so many banana bread recipes do. There is no additional flavoring. Nuts could be added but I like the simplicity and great taste of this recipe. Although the bread is good served plain it is excellent served with softened cream cheese or butter.
- 1 ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 ¾ teaspoons of baking powder
- ¼ teaspoons of baking soda
- ¾ teaspoons of salt
- 1/3 cup of solid shortening
- 2/3 cup of sugar
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 cup of ripe bananas (2 to 3) mashed
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a loaf pan.
Cream the shortening and sugar in a mixing bowl, add the eggs and mix into the shortening until smooth (don’t beat). Sift or fluff the flour, baking powder, soda and salt together. Add alternately dry and wet ingredients and the bananas.
Bake the loaf at 350 degrees about 1 hour or until the center tests done. Cool for about 5 minutes in the pan and then turn out on a rack to finish cooling. Do not cut until cooled. Wrap well in plastic or foil before storing.
The recipe makes one loaf.
½ cup of chopped nuts, such as walnuts, can be added to the batter.
Some people like to add a few tablespoons of orange juice or a couple tablespoons of orange zest to the recipe.