Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Banana Bread

This is a classic banana bread recipe that takes me back to my childhood, when my mom would have a hot loaf coming out of the oven just as me and my siblings were getting home from school. I think banana bread is the ultimate comfort baking for a lot of people! You can customize this recipe depending on whether or not you like plain banana bread, or if you like to add in nuts, chocolate, cinnamon (or all three). Personally, I always add cinnamon, and then may add the chocolate or nuts depending on what I'm in the mood for. The addition of sour cream or yogurt in the batter is the key to a super moist loaf, so don't skip it!


1 cup walnuts or pecans, toasted and coarsely chopped (optional)
1 cup semisweet or milk chocolate chips (optional)
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. ground cinnamon (adjust to your preference)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sour cream, or plain yogurt
1/2 cup unsalted butter or margarine, melted and cooled
3 very ripe large bananas, mashed well
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Grease a large loaf pan with butter or non-stick cooking spray. This recipe makes a large loaf so you may be able to divide the batter between two smaller loaf pans or make a loaf and a few muffins if needed.

Place the nuts on a baking sheet and bake for about 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until lightly toasted and fragrant. Allow them to cool and then chop coarsely. 

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon. Stir in the nuts and/or chocolate chips, if using. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the mashed bananas, eggs, melted butter, sour cream/yogurt, and vanilla. With a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, lightly fold the banana mixture into the dry ingredients just until combined and the batter is thick and chunky. Do not over mix the batter or it will result in a very tough, rubbery loaf.

Bake for about 55-60 minutes, until bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Place on a wire rack to cool and then remove the bread from the pan. Slice and serve warm.

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