Grandma Henderson’s Banana Bread


(a Christmas gift tradition for three generations!)

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda (originally dissolved in 1 teaspoon sour milk or hot water, but it mixes just as well with the dry ingredients)

3 VERY RIPE large bananas (the darker the skin, the better)

2 eggs

1.2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened (do not use soft margarine)

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour one loaf pan (9 x 5 X 3 inches) or three mini-loaf pans (5 x 3 x 2 inches); set aside. In medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking soda; set aside. In large mash bananas on low speed; add eggs, one at a time; mix until blended. Beat in butter or margarine and sugar until smooth and blended, scraping sides of bowl as needed. Gradually add flour and mix only until moistened. Do not overmix. Fold in nuts if using. Turn batter into prepared pan(s). dividing evenly and smoothing tops. Bake at 350 degrees 50-60 minutes (large pan) or 40-45 minutes (small pans until top is brown and toothpick inserted in center of loaf(ves) comes out clean.

(I normally use disposable aluminum foil pans for gifts. Let cool in pan before freezing; wrap cool pans in plastic wrap and again in aluminum foil.)

Mom (Murl Polsgrove Geer) dissolved the baking soda in hot water or sour milk and added it at the very last. The original copy Mom gave me in 1979 said “bake a 350 until dun.” I still have that to this very day.

Here it is, as updated and published in 2011 in the cookbook from Holy Family Catholic School, Granite City, Illinois: