Classic Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips

I always seem to have a freezer full of bananas. You see, I'm extremely high maintenance when it comes to my bananas. I like them just when perfectly ripe. Under ripe and I find them sort of chalky and slightly sour, over ripe and mushy, I'm grossed out by their bruises and want no part of it. So when they start to show some signs of aging, I pop them into the freezer to use at a later date, and most likely, to make banana bread.

Everyone should have an easy, no-fail banana bread in their recipe arsenal. You know, something that can be thrown together easily at a moment's notice and without an extra trip to the store. From time to time, I like to make banana bread, or if I can resist, I like to freeze it whole to have on hand for out of town guests, or just to pull out and have for any non-occasion day.

Banana bread is one of my favorite kinds of quick breads. It's sweet, but not too sweet and it's slightly perfumed with banana's fragrant scent. For an added texture and flavor boost, I like to add a generous handful of chocolate chips to my bread batter, just before baking. The recipe I used is one from Dorie Greenspan and the only change that I made, besides adding chocolate chips, is that I used 1/2 cup whole milk that I soured with a couple drops of lemon juice because I didn't have yogurt or sour cream on hand. Other than that, I followed this recipe and was thrilled with the results - a light bread, full of flavor and golden brown with the exterior, creating a slightly crisped crust that makes this bread something special.

Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips
Recipe by Dorie Greenspan

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
  • 3 ounces chopped chocolate, optional
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt together. Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. Add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, then the egg, beating for about 1 minute. Reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas. Finally, mix in half the dry ingredients (don't be disturbed if the batter curdles), all the sour cream and then the rest of the flour mixture. Stir in the chopped chocolate by hand. Pour the batter into a bread pan. Bake the bread for about 28 to 32 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  Transfer the bread pan to a rack, cool for 3 minutes, then gently turn the bread out of the tin. Cool to room temperature on a rack. Storing: Wrapped airtight, the bread will keep at room temperature for 2 or 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.


A Boston Food Diary said...

Banana bread is one of lifes little treasures- the wonderful transference of trash into something delicious. I am currently staring at three bananas that are just crying out to be made into something delicious...

Mom said...

Fabulous!! This looks great!!

Ashley said...

I made this last night and it was awesome! My cooking time was a bit longer than yours, but we have an old oven. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I made this a couple of weekends ago and the cooking time should be way longer than 28-32 min. I put mine in for 28 min and did stick a couple of toothpicks in the middle and they did come out clean, so I took the bread out...well after a while the middle just sank and it was basically raw. I did try the ends of the bread and it was DELICIOUS! I'm a little new to baking so, will just bake it longer next time.

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Hi Anonymous, thanks for your comment, sorry to hear about your bread experience, at least it sounds like you got a little taste of it! I always hate putting cooking times on my blog for that very reason, my oven is probably totally different than yours and therefor cooking times may vary. In culinary school I learned that all of those estimations can be way off and the best thing to do is ignore them and let your bread cook at it's own pace :) I hope you give it another go, it's a great recipe!

PMH said...

My bread is in the oven as I'm typing...it's been in for about 50 minutes and it's still batter in the middle. I don't want it to burn on the outside and not cook on the inside! :-(

The Small Boston Kitchen said...

Sorry to hear that, I suggest wrapping the bread in foil and baking a bit longer or until it's done in the center. This will prevent burning. Ignore how long you think it should take (or how long the recipe says) and bake it until it's done, even if it's a bit later than the recipe states, as oven temperatures vary.

PMH said...

Baked it about 1 hour and it actually didn't burn and it's done! And DELICIOUS! I always add a little extra chocolate to any recipe :-) It's probably just my oven. Pinning this recipe for sure, it's a keeper!

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