This recipe for banana bread is an old one (those are the best kinds) that I have altered somewhat over the years I have been making it. It contains a secret ingredient that will create a moist and tasty banana bread--the secret is sour cream!
First, I will post the original recipe, which comes from an old church cookbook I have. Incidentally, this is not the first recipe I've posted from this cookbook. You can also check out my post on Refrigerator Pickles for another great recipe from this cookbook.
Banana Bread (Original Recipe)
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mashed bananas
1 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour
Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs and salt. Beat again. Add bananas. Add baking soda to sour cream. Add to above mixture along with flour. Grease 2 medium loaf pans or a 9x13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees until it loosens from side of pan and tests done.
Now, the original recipe is very good, but I have made some changes to it nonetheless. For one, I ditched the sugar and switched to honey. We are making an effort to use whole, unrefined ingredients whenever possible, so granulated sugar just doesn't fit the bill for us any more. We have switched to more natural sweeteners, such as raw honey, maple syrup, or molasses.
We are also no longer using vegetable shortening. It was a staple in our pantry for quite some time, but if you are willing to take the time to read this article about hydrogenated oils, you will see why we stopped using it! Instead, we now use butter, lard, meat drippings (especially from bacon), and unrefined coconut oil in most of our cooking and baking.
Other than the sugar and shortening, the only other major changes I have made is in my flour choice. I now normally substitute half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat, and I have even experimented with oat flour.
So, here is my modified recipe (click here for a printable version):
Banana Bread (Kristie's Modified Recipe)
3/4 cup raw honey
1/2 cup butter or lard
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup mashed bananas (I use 2 medium bananas)
1 cup sour cream (full fat!)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two loaf pans.
Cream honey and butter together in a large bowl. Add salt and eggs, and beat well. Add bananas, mixing well.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream and baking soda; mix thoroughly. Add sour cream to banana mixture along with the flours. Stir just until combined.
Pour mixture into greased loaf pans and bake at 350 degrees F until it loosens from side of pan and tests done (around 40 minutes).
Once the bread is done, I allow it to cool for a bit in the loaf pans. Then I remove the loaves, allow to cool completely on a wire rack, and then place the loaves in a plastic bag. The flavor tends to improve if you leave the bread sit in a bag overnight. The next day, just warm a few slices up in the microwave and top with plenty of butter for a quick and delicious morning meal.