There are many things I don’t do well. I can’t sing. I have poor hand/eye coordination and I can’t bake a good chocolate chip cookie to save my life. I must say, when it comes to my banana bread, that is one thing I have nailed! I don’t mean to sound boastful. It is rude to brag, but with everything that brings us down in the world, I think it’s okay to occasionally toot your own horn and give yourself credit for a job well done!
To say I made up this recipe would be an embellishment. I did what I do with all of my kitchen creations. I start with a recipe and I tweak it through trial and error until I am satisfied that I have made every improvement possible. I remember being middle school age making banana bread with imitation banana flavor. Maybe I thought it was good at the time? Who knows. That tidbit might just offer an explanation as to why I go heavy on the real bananas. My sweet tooth explains the allocation of chocolate chips.
Start with ripe bananas. Bananas are a staple in our house. I often buy them in excess because I know any leftovers can go into a batch of bread. I’d say I make this recipe at least once, if not twice a month. The flavor of a banana grows stronger as it ripens. I consider this to be ripe.
The timing between ripe bananas and cooking time doesn’t always coincide. No problem. You can ripen bananas in the oven.
How to Ripen Bananas
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
- Place bananas on baking sheet
- Bake 15-25 minutes
Banana Bread Recipe
Yields: 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Bake Time: 1 hour
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
Grease bottom of bread pan
2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Ripe bananas (Play with the number to fit your taste. I generally use 5. If I only have 4 on hand or if I have more – great.)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cooking oil -or- melted butter*
*Substitution Option: 1/4 cup cooking oil -or- melted butter and 1/4 cup ripe avocado
1/2 cup of chocolate chips
Have fun and experiment with your taste on this one. You can use semi-sweet, milk chocolate, dark chocolate, etc. Play with the quantity too.
Mixer – a stand mixer is best, but a hand mixer can be used
Combine all dry ingredients (flour, baking power, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and sugar) in a bowl. Make a little well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the eggs, oil and ripe bananas. Work up to medium speed and mix for a few minutes at medium level. Scraping the sides of the bowl when necessary. Now if the bananas just came out of the oven from the ripening process, you might want to hold off on adding the last ingredient – chocolate chips. If the bananas are still warm, it will melt the chocolate will simply get mixed within the bread, which is still good! Personally, I love the little crunch from the chocolate chip, so I let the mix cool to room temperature before adding.
Pour mix into the pans and bake for roughly an hour. Place pan on a cooling rack for 20-30 minutes.
The remove bread from pan and leave on rack to finish cooling.
Storing Banana Bread
I tightly wrap the bread in aluminum foil and store in the refrigerator or freezer. It will stay good in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Now there is an optional streusel topping. I generally only use it if I am serving the bread as a dessert.
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons butter
Using a pastry blender cut in all ingredients until it forms coarse crumbs.
The topping can be added before or after baking. If added after, sprinkle on top immediately after taking out of the oven and let it cool in the pan a little longer.
Serve bread warm or cold. I like it cold. If you are looking for treat and to change up brunch, try this bread as the base to french toast and serve with warm banana slices on top – YUM!