A smooth, not-too-sweet bread.
1 cup white sugar
1 cup shortening
2 tsp vanilla
5 ripe medium-size bananas (or more, if you add more flour, or less, if you add less flour)
4 cups flour
2 tsps baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
Preheat oven to 350̊ F. Put the rack just below the middle of the oven (this keeps the top of the loaves from getting overbaked). Grease two loaf pans.
In a large mixing bowl, cream the 1 cup sugar and 1 cup shortening.
Add 4 eggs and 2 tsp vanilla. Stir until smooth.
Add the 5 (or more) bananas. Beat until the batter is a complete liquid. (If you like chunks of gooey bananas in your bread, you can be less thorough in your blending, but we prefer a smooth texture.)
Add 2 cups of flour, 2 tsps baking soda, 1 tsp baking powder, and the other 2 cups of flour (or, sift it all together and add it at once– but I take the shortcut of sandwiching the leavening agents between scoops of flour). Blend all of this until it’s smooth. The dough will be thick.
Spread half of the batter in each pan.
Bake at 350̊ F for an hour. (Or longer if, when you stick a toothpick in the loaf, the toothpick comes out gooey.)
Let sit in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out on a cooling rack.
Serve warm with butter.
(It’s also delicious the next morning.)