Best ever sweet banana bread - Great for gifts or to serve for the upcoming holidays. For a mouthwatering flavor combination, stir in 1/2 cup chocolate, peanut butter or butterscotch chips into the batter.
Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease bottoms only of 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2x4 1/2x2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches. (I used 1 loaf pan size.)
Mix sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened. Stir in nuts. Pour into pans (pan).
Bake 8-inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf about 1 1/4 hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate up to 10 days.
TIP: If using self-rising flour, there is no need to add baking soda and salt. AND, if no buttermilk on hand, you can mix 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice or white vinegar and enough milk to make 1/2 cup. Or substitute 1/2 cup plain yogurt.