Monday, December 13, 2010


The holidays are a wonderful time to have a stash of fruit quick breads in the freezer to give as gifts or to slice and add to a cookie plate.  This banana bread, as do most quick breads, taste better a day or two after baking, and freezes well.  It contains few ingredients, is very easy to make, and it makes many loaves of bread.

Lots of loaves of bread from one recipe of banana bread.

When I was in college in the 1960's, I worked as a bank teller whenever I was home.  I never knew what bank I would be working in that day until they called me in the morning and told me where to report.  At one point I worked for a week in a bank where they loved to eat.  Someone was always bringing homemade food to snack on during breaks.  This banana bread showed up one day and I was hooked.  My family didn't make banana bread so I had to look for a recipe.  I made banana bread after banana bread and none of them had the flavor of the one at the bank.

Finally after many, many tries I found this recipe which has a deep banana flavor of the bank banana bread.  The color of the bread is dark as it is chuck full of bananas.  I have always made the recipe exactly as it was originally written.  When I started the blog, I featured a Three B's  Muffins,  http://michigancottagecook.blogspot.com/2010/04/3-bs-muffins-banana-bran-and-blueberry.html with banana, bran and blueberries. 

Blueberry banana bread is a match made in heaven.

They were a big hit at church.  My son-in-law likes chocolate chips in banana bread.  Instead of making different banana bread recipes for each flavor, I decided to use my tried and true recipe in different ways.  Tom thinks my experiment turned out very well and he is feasting on banana bread.  He thinks he likes the blueberry the best, but he needs to eat more of the others before he decides.

Left top is plain, right top with nuts.  Left bottom has chocolate chips, right bottom is blueberry.  I saved the bigger loaves to give as gifts.

Have you noticed on restaurant menus Banana Bread French Toast?  Any of these varities would make excellent French Toast.  The Chocolate Chip Banana, I think, would be delightful made into French toast and served with whipped cream rather than syrup. 


1 c shortening
2 c sugar
4 eggs
7 ripe bananas, mashed
4 c flour
2 t baking soda
2 t salt
1 c nuts, chopped, optional, or mini chocolate chips, or frozen blueberries

Ingredients:  Flour, sugar, shortening, baking soda, eggs, salt and bananas.

Optional ingredient:  Chopped nuts.

Optional ingredient:  Mini chocolate chips.

Optional ingredient:  Frozen blueberries.

Mix dry ingredients together well. Cream shortening and sugar; add eggs, beat well. Add flour, a fourth at a time, alternating with bananas. Blend well. Add optional ingredients of your choice.  Pour into greased loaf pans of your choice.  I like smaller ones as they bake quicker. Bake at 350 for about 20 to 25 minutes for miniature pans; 35 to 40 for small pans. A toothpick inserted in the center will come out clean when bread is done.  Cool baked bread on a metal rack for 10 minutes and then remove bread from pans.  NOTE: Bananas freeze well. I freeze, right in their skins, the ones which get too ripe to eat until I have enough for this bread.

Peel bananas and put into a bowl.

Mash with potato masher or bean masher.

Mix the dry ingredients together well.

Chop nuts if using.

Put shortening in a large mixing bowl.

Cream well with an electric mixer and add sugar.

Beat sugar and shortening together until fluffy.

Add eggs and beat well.

Add 1/4 of the flour and mix.

Add 1/4 of the bananas and mix well.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Mix well.

Finished batter.

Spray loaf pans with cooking spray.

I use an ice cream scoop to put batter into pans.

Add chopped nuts if using to batter before putting it in pans.

Or add chocolate chips.

Put blueberries in a bowl.

Add a tablespoon or two of flour.

Mix berries and flour to coat berries.  Add to batter.

Fill pans about 1/2 to 3/4ths full.  Bake until toothpick put into center of bread comes out clean.

These little loaves didn't photograph well but they are kinda cute.

Banana bread with no extras.

Banana bread with nuts.

Banana bread with mini chocolate chips.

Banana bread with blueberries.

Take your pick and enjoy!!

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