I love making loaf cakes and quick breads and this Vintage Banana Nut Bread is fast becoming one of my favourites. The original recipe comes via my late Mom, from my well-worn but treasured copy of her Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I used to thumb through it when I was a kid, dreaming of being the perfect housewife, preparing wonderful food and setting tables like they did in the pictures.
Today I know that real life isn’t actually like the glossy photographs you see in cookbooks and magazines and that good enough is far better than perfect but this book is still a trusted resource. In fact, all these years later I’m still cooking my way through it.
Recently I discovered a recipe in my treasured volume for Banana Nut Bread. I was drawn to this particular recipe as it contains bran. I’m always on the outlook for healthier quick bread recipes and with bran and only a half-cup of sugar this one seemed to fit the bill.
Bran can be tricky to find here in England. Bran Muffins are not as popular as they are in North America – although I am doing my best to remedy that! Anyway, recently I discovered freshly milled bran at Mapledurham Mill, the last working mill on the River Thames.
The mill is part of the Maplehurham House estate, which dates from the time of King Henry VIII. They are have been milling grain there for over 400 years. I love the idea that my bran has come from such an historic mill.
My Vintage Banana Nut Bread has a really lovely flavour. The bananas give it a wonderful sweetness and the texture means it is suited to breakfast, teatime or snacks. I love it cut in thick slices spread with soft butter or with anything at all really! It’s positively addictive.
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 well-beaten egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup bran
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk
- 3 mashed bananas (about 1½ cups)
- 1½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup chopped nuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Grease and flour or line a 9½ x 5¼ x 2¾ inch loaf pan.
- Cream butter and sugar.
- Add the egg.
- Now stir in the bran and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Set aside.
- Combine buttermilk and bananas in a medium bowl.
- Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk and bananas.
- Mix thoroughly.
- Stir in the nuts.
- Transfer the mixture to the lined pan.
- The bread normally takes between 45 and 50 minutes to cook but check after 35 minutes as oven temperatures really can vary. The bread is done when a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Allow to cool completely before slicing.
- The bread will keep for two or three days in a sealed container or wrapped in aluminum foil.
If you enjoyed this recipe you may also enjoy Carrot Walnut Bran Muffins.