Banana bread is a classic, not to mention delicious, American food that is also quite easy to make. The core recipe remains the same, although there are slight variations (some recipes use nuts and other flavorings). When you're crunched for time and need a nice dessert to offer your guests, banana bread is a good choice. Plus, this bread is a great complement to your morning cup of coffee.
The secret to delicious banana bread is overly ripe bananas. If you have bananas that are turning brown, but not spoiled, use them for this recipe. The older a banana, the sweeter the taste. Also, for added sweetness, consider drizzling a thin, white icing on the banana bread or brush melted butted on the top.
Have all ingredients at room temperature, or about 70 degrees.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl.
In a medium-sized bowl, cream the shortening and sugar with the electric mixer. Blend until the mixture is smooth. Then add the egg, vanilla and banana. Continue to blend with the electric mixer until smooth.
Add the flour mixture slowly to the wet ingredients, pouring in no more than one-third of the flour at a time. Blend continuously with the mixer until all the flour has been added and the mixture is creamy smooth.
Using a spoon, add the nuts and stir well.
Grease the bread loaf with either a bit of butter or shortening. Pour in the batter and bake for about an hour. Insert a toothpick into the center of the banana bread; if it comes out clean, the bread is ready. Cool on a wire rack and serve immediately. Cover unused portions.