I think that nearly every mom has what their family would refer to as the "best" Banana Bread recipe, but I would argue (perhaps slightly biased-ly) that my mom DOES have the best Banana Bread Recipe :)
As long as I can remember, Mom has been making this recipe. It comes from a super old church cookbook from a teeny-tiny church in the middle of nowhere North Dakota. But after all, that's where many of the best recipes can be found! She makes it for special occasion, or just because. I think one of my sisters requested it in place of a birthday cake one year.....
It really doesn't require any special ingredients or supplies..... And it's a really great way to use bananas that are past their prime... Personally, I prefer my bananas on the green side, so once they've developed any sort of spots, they are destined to become banana bread for me. Subsequently, I seem to have many bunches of bananas in my freezer right now because I refuse to eat them once they get spots! So making banana bread is a great way to help clear out my freezer.
You may be tempted to cut into the loaf as soon as it comes out of the oven, but if you can control your self (the smell is positively amazing), wait until it cools. Or better yet, wait until the next day. This bread improves with age.
Mom's Banana Bread
2 cups AP flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt ( I usually cut this in half because I find it a bit much)
1/2 cup shortening (although my mom usually uses room temp. butter, or once she used coconut oil which was AMAZING)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 over ripe bananas, * mashed (large ones, or else add an extra small one)
3 tablespoons of cold water
1. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl and set aside.
2. Cream the butter with the sugar (either by had or with a mixer) until nice and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture in two batches. Finally add the banana mixture and mix until just combined.
3. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour and 5 minutes. (Note: the most recent time I made this recipe, I baked it for only 55 minutes and it was a tish over baked, so maybe start checking it at 45 to 50 minutes. This overbaking may have been the result of using a ceramic loaf pan or because I had used my oven at a higher temperature previously in the day.)
*Although this may seem gross, I really prefer to mash the bananas with my CLEAN fingers. I find it's the best way to completely mash them lump-less.
The best way to eat this bread (in my opinion)? With a slather of butter and a glass of cold milk. Dunking is optional, although I am a dunker :)