This recipe comes from my Aunt Lisa, and is the only banana bread my mom ever made when I was growing up. I have tried other banana bread recipes, but none of them ever turn out as well as this one - they aren't moist enough, or don't have enough banana flavor, or don't get the gooey delicious top... the name of this recipe says it all. —d_ribbens
medium overripe bananas (can be frozen, but thaw them first!)
Preheat the oven to 350 degF. Butter and flour two medium-sized loaf pans (or, 1 large loaf pan, or 3 small/mini loaf pans).
Sift the dry ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.
Mash the bananas in a bowl and set aside.
Cream the sugar and shortening together until well-mixed and fluffy.
Add eggs, one at a time, until fully incorporated.
Add the buttermilk (use real buttermilk if you can, it gives the best results!) and mix until well-combined.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet in 3-4 batches, mixing each time until just incorporated.
Add the mashed bananas and the vanilla, mix until evenly distributed in the batter.
If you like, you can add semi-sweet chocolate chips, walnuts, or pecans at this point. Or if you're making multiple loaves, try sprinkling something different into each loaf. I guarantee there's no wrong way to add chocolate to this bread!
Pour batter into loaf pans until about 1/2 to 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degF. 45-60 minutes for larger pans, 25-30 minutes for smaller pans. Bread will be done when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.