August 11, 2011

Grandma v. Good Housekeeping: A Banana Bread Bakeoff

I have always loved my grandma’s banana bread. It’s the one I grew up with and the one I judge all other banana breads against. As I was preparing to bake it I realized I had four bananas going brown on the counter and my recipe only needed two. So, I decided to put my grandma’s recipe to the test. I made both her recipe and one out of my GHK cookbook (circa 1965). While mixing up the dough I actually got pretty nervous. The GHK version looked so light and fluffy while my grandma’s looked dense and dark. After I baked them the nerves got worse! Again, the GHK version was a beautifully light yellow color that reminded me of yellow cake. My grandma’s was brown. Not a very exciting result for sure.  What had I done?! Had I just unintentionally insulted my grandma’s recipe?! Was she looking down from heaven chastising me with her look and signature phrase “Oh Boy”? Well, it turns out that beauty is in the eye of my belly.  That light & fluffy GHK recipe turned out to be unbearably dry and my grandma’s was just as good as I always remembered it, very moist with a great banana and vanilla undertone.  I asked Ron to do a blind taste test to make sure I wasn’t being biased and he agreed “the brown one is better”.  

So the winner of the first “Versus” challenge is My Grandma’s Banana Bread!  Oh Boy!
·         ¼ lb butter
·         1 cup sugar
·         2 eggs
·         2-3 bananas (smashed)
·         1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
·         1 teaspoon baking soda
·         4 tablespoons milk
·         1 teaspoon vanilla
·         ½ cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
·         1 ½ cups flour (sifted)
Directions.  Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs. Combine powder, soda, vanilla and milk into butter mixture. Add bananas, nuts and flour. Crisco and flour pans. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes at 350. 
Top is Grandma's / Bottom is GHK.
I really hope you enjoy! And if you want the GHK version just send me an email or leave me a comment and I will get it to you (but I don’t think you will like it, HA).


  1. Your grandma's banana bread looks yummy!

  2. Thank you Shia! If you try the recipe let me know what you think.