Banana bread is one of those recipes that always manages to show up at potlucks and family gatherings. It’s the bread you bring when you don’t know what to bring. It’s incredibly easy, can be thrown together in 5 minutes, and can be counted on to make a moist, delicious loaf time after time.
I love the versatility of this well known little sweet bread. You can throw in nuts, add chocolate chips, spice it up, or leave it plain. It really is the ultimate example of versatility.
I tend to whip this bread together at least once a month, and for good reason. I drink a smoothie almost every morning, and I typically toss a half a banana in with my veggies. Every Sunday I buy a big bunch of gorgeous golden bananas, and, every Friday I almost inevitably have one or two left over. If it’s just one, slightly browned banana, I typically eat it with lunch and just take care of the problem then and there. But if it’s several (as happens more than I’d like to admit) I have to improvise. Enter banana bread.
I’ve found the most effective and mutually agreed upon way to use up those lingering bananas is to bake them into a moist loaf of delicious bread. I let them go another day or two until they are good and brown, and then mash them up and throw them into a bowl with some other ingredients to make a quick and easy batch of banana goodness.
If you want to add walnuts instead of chocolate chips you can do a 1:1 switch, you can also halve the amount of chocolate chips and add 1/2 cup of walnuts as well for a loaf that really has it all! To give it a more festive twist add a teaspoon of cinnamon along with the flour.
Make sure that when you are mixing in the dry ingredients that you do not overbeat the dough. Banana bread is similar to muffins, in as much as if you over-mix it can over stimulate the gluten which in turn will make the finished product tough and will inhibit the bread from rising.
This recipe can easily be adapted to 4 mini loaf pans instead of one large, just make sure to start checking them about 20 minutes sooner. Cooled mini loaves can be wrapped in parchment, tucked into a small bag tied with a ribbon, and make gorgeous little Christmas, or even a thoughtful hostess gift!
- 2 Eggs
- 1 cup White Sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- 8 Tbsp Softened Butter
- 2 1/2 cups Flour
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Chocolate Chips
- 1/2 cup Buttermilk
- 4 sm. or 3 md. Overripe bananas
Grease one standard loaf pan (9x5) or 4 small loaf pans and dust with flour. Preheat the oven to 325.
Mash the bananas in a small bowl with a potato masher or the back of a fork.
In a medium bowl cream the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs and beat until the mixture is slightly aerated and has turned a light yellow.
Add the remaining wet ingredients and stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and give a few quick folds to distribute them. Do not over-mix.
Pour the batter into the pan(s). Place in the oven and bake 25 - 35 minutes for the small loaf pans or 55 - 65 minutes for a single large. When the batter is slightly domed and golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean the loafs are done. Allow loafs to cool in the pan for 15mn before removing them to wire rack to finish cooling.