My middle son LOVES banana bread. He will not touch an actual banana if you paid him, but he will devour banana bread. He regularly asks me to buy bananas at the grocery store just for banana bread. He always knows when they are brown enough to use for baking. He will come into the kitchen and declare – “Those bananas a looking nice and brown, I think it is time for BANANA BREAD!” During quarantine, I started making this banana bread with my sourdough starter. It was instantly my favorite banana bread that I have ever made. As I continued to make this recipe, I realized that you can make it without a starter as well. The version in this recipe does not have the starter in it, in hopes that it will be more accessible to everyone. The order that you put ingredients together is quite unique but it results in a really lovely and wonderful texture to this banana bread. The chocolate chips are of course optional, I only like a small amount in the bread, but it is delicious either way.
To get ready to bake, I preheated my oven to 360 F degrees, I set 6 small disposable loaf pans on a baking sheet. You can also use a large loaf pan lined with parchment paper and binder clips to hold the paper in place. In a small bowl, I combined the flour, baking soda and salt and whisk together. I took 1 teaspoon of the flour mixture and mixed it in with the mini chocolate chips in a small bowl until they were all covered. Then, in a small pan, I melted the butter. I don’t have a microwave at my house, so this little all-clad pan is used every week. Then, I pulled the butter off the heat and added the milk to the butter to let both ingredients equalize to around the same temperature.
I used a large bowl and a hand mixer to make this recipe but you can also use a stand mixer and the whisk attachment. The paddle attachment doesn’t quite break up the bananas enough while mixing. In the bowl I placed the bananas, the brown sugar and vanilla. I mixed them until they were very smooth and well combined. Then I added in the 2 eggs and mixed them well. In two batches I added the dry ingredients and mixed them just until they were combined. Then I added the milk and butter. It always floats at the top of the bowl and needs to be mixed in slowly with the mixer so that it doesn’t splash around and end up on your counter top. The batter will be nice and light in color when finished. Finally, I folded the mini chocolate chips into the batter with a spatula. Then, I used a large cookie scoop to scoop 4 scoops of batter into each mini loaf pan to make sure that the batter was evenly spread between each pan. I put the sheet pan with the pans on it into the oven to bake. I began checking it at the 30 minute mark, but ended up leaving them in for the full 35 minutes.
These mini loaf pans were perfect to be able to share with our friends. Emily was able to pick one up, Kevin took a loaf to one of my favorite co-workers of his at his office, and another went home to our amazing babysitter Phoebe. The rest were eaten, mostly by my middle son. My youngest though is going to to give him a run for his money on banana bread eating. I’m beyond excited that another one of my children likes my baked goods, because to be honest, my oldest is not a fan of many things I bake. Today he told me, “Lets give the rest of that cake you made away, I don’t like it.”
One last quick note, if you do bake this in the large loaf pan, the slices toast up beautifully in the toaster and are delicious with a pad of butter melting into it.
Recipe: Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- 2-4 ripe bananas
- 225 grams dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 room temperature eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 250 grams all purpose flour
- 125 grams melted butter
- 125 grams milk
- 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 360 F degrees. Line one large loaf pan with parchment paper or have mini tins prepared on a baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add 1 teaspoon of the flour mixture to the chocolate chips and coat the chips with the flour.
- In a small sauce pan or microwave, melt the butter. Once it is melted, add the milk to the butter, this helps to bring both liquids to a similar temperature.
- In a large bowl, use your hand mixer or stand mixer with whisk attachment to mix the bananas, brown sugar and vanilla. Then, add the eggs and mix well. Add the dry ingredients in 2 batches. Add the milk and butter to the mixture and slowly incorporate it into the batter. This takes a little time, but just be patient.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Divide between the mini loaf pans or pour into the large loaf pan.
- Bake the bread for 30-35 minutes for the 6 mini loaf pans, 45 minutes for 4 mini loaf pans, or 65-70 minutes for the large loaf pan.
- Allow the cool completely in the loaf pan or serve it slightly warm with a smear of butter.
Recipe adapted from The Clever Carrot