Since birth, I’ve had a hankering for bananas. That, or, in my youth, with my long limbs and primate-like sounds, I was briefly confused for a monkey and fed so many bananas that in the event of a shortage, I may need a pump to help get me through. I’ve enjoyed this fruit in its natural state, sans peel, and experimented with it here and there Recently, I’ve ventured adding this fruit to my favorite carb: bread. With chocolate. Creating the trifecta of food groups: chocolate chip banana bread.
If you’ve done half as many Internet searches as I have for the perfect banana bread recipe, and trust me, I’ve conducted quite a few, you would find an endless sea of recipes with variations of a few ingredients: flour, bananas, sugar, eggs (if a vegan recipe, a flax egg perhaps?), so on and so forth. I’ve also tried many of these recipes first hand, and, to my surprise, found that great banana bread is subjective and good banana bread is universal. There exist so many recipes because people have varying tastes and prefer their banana bread certain ways: some with more bananas, others with less sugar, and some that are “healthy” and others that offer a healthy serving of butter. So, after must research, I bring you what I consider to be the moistest and most delicious banana bread, adapted from a recipe by the talented NorCal chef, Tyler Florence.
*2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
*6 overripe bananas
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a small bowl to retain some texture. In your stand mixer with a wire whisk attachment, whip the remaining bananas and sugar together for 3 minutes; you want a light and fluffy banana cream. Add the melted butter, eggs, and vanilla; beat well and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Mix in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Fold in the chocolate and the mashed bananas with a rubber spatula. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Give the pan a good tap on the counter to get any air bubbles out.
Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes, until golden brown and a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Rotate the pan periodically to ensure even browning.
Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes or so, and run a rubber spatula around the edges to prevent from sticking. Then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely before slicing. Serve as is, or brown each side with a little butter in your cast iron pan to add a crunchy texture.
*A couple of notes:
- It’s not necessary to use six bananas in this recipe. The original calls for four, but I believe the more bananas the better!
- To achieve the most accurate measure of flour, drop your bag of flour on the counter to remove any air pockets. Dip your measuring cup into the bag and use the back of a knife, or another tool with a straight edge, to level the top of the flour. This ensures an even measure in your mixture.
Take the liberty of previewing a few of the steps for making this loaf below and enjoy!