On Saturday night, after a fun Halloween party filled with dancing and costumed elementary school kids, I baked banana bread. It was pretty late, but I think all the sugar I consumed at the party gave me an unusual amount of extra energy.
I have one of those rather un-stylish yet very handy digital alarm clocks that automatically updates to the current time in the event the cord gets accidentally unplugged. You’d be surprised at how often that happens. However, for reasons beyond my understanding, the daylight savings schedule is off by one week. So Sunday morning I thought that we got up at 8am, but it turned out that the sneaky clock was off by a week as usual and the time was, in fact, 9am. We were due at a friend’s house by 10 and suffice it to say, I didn’t realize the situation till well after the appointed hour. It was as I was snapping pictures of this lovely and decadent loaf that I realized the time difference, so I only got to take a couple photos before I whisked it off to said friend’s house.
We polished off almost the entire loaf in half a morning. (OK, there were eight of us, but still).
My taste testers declared it awesome, and I have to agree. I ended up modifying an already wonderful recipe from Molly’s book, A Homemade Life. I highly recommend her cookbook – it’s filled with charming and touching anecdotes (I nearly cried on a couple of occasions, but I am prone to tears) as well as easy-to-prepare dishes and sweets.
Banana Bread with Mini Chocolate Chips
Adapted from Molly Wizenberg
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 3 large bananas – I only had 2 on hand and it came out fine)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease a standard-sized (about 9×5 inches) load pan with cooking spray or butter
2. In a small bowl, microwave butter until just melted (on high, it took about 30 seconds)
3. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the mini chocolate chips and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
4. In a medium bowl, lightly beat eggs with a fork. Add the mashed bananas, sour cream, melted butter, and vanilla and stir to mix well.
5. Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a rubber spatula, scraping down the sides as needed, until just combined. Take care not to overmix. The batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy, but there should be no unincorporated flour.
6. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and jiggle the pan a bit to even out the batter in the pan.
7. Bake until the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. 50 minutes to 1 hour (mine took 56 minutes). If the loaf seems to be browning too quickly, tent with aluminum foil.
8. Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then tip it out onto the rack and let it cool completely before slicing. Which I did, and the bread was fabulous.
Molly also adds that once fully cooled, the bread freezes beautifully and tastes great straight from the freezer. Since the bread went so quickly this round, I didn’t get a chance to try this, but will do so next time!