There was a short list of baked goods that were fundamental staples in our household growing up: TPC Coffee Cake, Superbowl Snack Mix, Cowboy Cookies, and Nana’s Banana Bread. Anytime I bake these offerings for friends or coworkers, I get clobbered with requests for the recipes. There’s no secret ingredients or mad science going on, but they are just exceptionally good recipes.
The funny thing is? I’ve been baking Nana’s Banana Bread wrong for the last decade.
I recently visited my sister in Ohio and she had a bunch of spotted bananas on her counter. We discussed making banana bread for breakfast and she complained, “Oh no! I don’t have any eggs!”
I looked at her, confused, “There’s no eggs in Nana’s Banana Bread.”
Her face mirrored my confusion. She walked to her recipe box and pulled out the index card with my mother’s handwritten banana bread recipe written on it. There, on the third line, was Beat in 2 eggs. What in the world? I pulled out my phone and opened the email that my mom had sent me almost a decade ago with the recipe. I had it saved in a special folder and referenced it religiously over the years. There were no eggs listed!
(Side note: My mom wrote all our family recipes and tucked them inside cute wooden boxes for us as Christmas presents. Literally, one of the sweetest, most memorable gifts I’ve ever received. If you’ve got time this quarantine– consider writing recipe cards for friends or family!)
My sister and I laughed, still a little unsure of who had the “correct” version of the recipe. We texted our mom and she said “Of course there’s eggs!”
I shook my head in amazement. I always warned people who wanted to try making the banana bread that it was a “tough one” because you had to bake it perfectly or it would completely cave in. Turns out, I’d made the baking process 10x harder by eliminating the ingredient that provides stability and structure. Unreal. At least it always tasted good!
So, without further ado, here is the Bouzeos family recipe for the most excellent banana bread:
Nana's Banana Bread
– ½ cup shortening (or Crisco butter stick)
– 1 ½ cups sugar
– 2 eggs
Add and mix until well blended:
– 3 large ripe bananas mashed
– 1 tsp salt
– 1 tbsp vanilla
– 2 cups flour
– 1 tsp baking soda
– ½ cup buttermilk (substitution: ½ cup of milk with 1-2tbsp of vinegar)
Alternate adding the sifted flour and the buttermilk to the banana mixture.
– Stir in ¾ cup chopped nuts
Pour into 9×5 crisco/floured loaf pan and bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes.
Or pour into muffin tins and bak at 350 for 20-25 minutes.
Sometimes I’ll get a little crazy and add cinnamon or chocolate chips. If you decide to bake it, let me know!