Preheat oven to 350°. Grease bottoms of 10 mini loaf pans (can use a regular sized bread pan or muffin tin, but adjust cooking time), with shortening, cooking spray, or butter.
In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter. Add eggs, blend well. Add bananas, buttermilk, and vanilla; beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt just until moistened. Stir in nuts if desired. Divide batter evenly among pans, filling about ½ full.
Bake 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes, loosen from pans and place on cooling rack. Cool completely, about 2 hours.