I love making loaf cakes and quick breads and this Old Fashioned Banana Nut Bread is 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.
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I used to thumb through Mom’s cookbook 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, however, this book is still a trusted resource. In fact, all these years later I’m still cooking my way through it.
I was originally drawn to Banana Nut Bread because it contains bran. Bran is rich in fibre and other nutrients, as well as being low in calories. There’s only a half a cup of sugar in this recipe but the bananas give the bread a wonderful sweetness. I’m always on the outlook for healthier quick bread recipes this one really fits the bill.
Banana Nut Bread made with Bran from a Historic Mill
I love the freshly milled bran at Mapledurham Mill, the last working mill on the River Thames. The mill is part of the Mapledurham House estate, which dates from the time of King Henry VIII. They are have been milling grain there for over 400 years. It’s important to me to support local suppliers. Mapledurham House is only about 15 minutes from our home and it’s hard to get more local than that!
When I cannot get bran from the mill, I use Hatton Hill Organic Wheat Bran, which also delivers great results.
Is This a Quick Bread or a Loaf Cake?
I consider my Old Fashioned Banana Nut Bread to be a bread as opposed to a cake. It doesn’t have enough sugar to really qualify as a cake and the texture means it is suited to breakfast, teatime or snacks. It’s perfectly delicious plain but I love it cut in thick slices spread with soft butter any time of day. Drizzle honey drizzled over top of the butter for a treat. You can also spread it with cream cheese.
Hints and Tips for Making Old Fashioned Banana Nut Bread
Old-Fashioned Banana Nut Bread s a classic recipe you will want to make again and again. You can use pecans or walnuts, whatever you have on hand. This is a great recipe for using up bananas that are a little past their best.
If buttermilk is unavailable, you can use ordinary milk. The flavour will be slightly different but you will still get a delicious result.
Although the cooking time is 45 to 50 minutes, be sure to check the bread after 40 minutes. Oven temperatures vary radically, so you should really keep an eye on baking from about 5 minutes before the minimum cooking time.
The bread will keep in a sealed container or well wrapped at room temperature for 3 to 4 days. If you plan on freezing the loaf, I recommend slicing it first so you can thaw individual slices.
Old Fashioned Banana Nut Bread – Printable Recipe
Vintage Banana Nut Bread
- ¼ cup butter
- ½ cup granulated or caster sugar
- 1 well-beaten egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup bran
- 3 tablespoons buttermilk You can use ordinary milk if buttermilk is not available.
- 3 mashed bananas ( about 1½ cups of mashed banana)
- 1½ cups flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ cup chopped nuts I use walnuts but pecans work well too.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Grease and flour or line a 9½ x 5¼ x 2¾ inch loaf pan.
- Cream the butter and sugar together.
- 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 centre 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 aluminium foil.