Banana bread is for rainy days. Or Sundays. Or days where you just want to feel that little extra cozy. I’ve had some bad days, but few that couldn’t be made at least marginally better by a warm slice with a little butter (just do it). On this point, I believe there are fundamentally two types of Banana Bread. Firstly, there is your classic, moist, golden banana-y flavor with walnuts. This is your grandma’s bread. You put a little butter on this version because you deserve it. It has always, and will always remain in the number one spot but is trailed ever so closely by the second type. The one with CHOCOLATE CHIPS. You never knew. You judged so intensely those who ate this inferior nutriment. You were baptized by fire.
I don’t know why banana and semi-sweet chocolate chips taste so damn good together. It’s messed up. It got me to thinking, is there anything I could do to improve this exemplary creation (bonus info: my personality type is ceaselessly unsatisfied). Ina Garten, queen of queens, sometimes adds a little honey to her chocolate because she thinks “it really brings out the intensity of the chocolate”. I, ever the loyal follower, traded some honey for some of the granulated sugar because, I too, wish to “bring out the intensity of the chocolate”.
Bananas ✓. Chocolate ✓. Honey ✓. I thought about adding the walnuts but I was worried it would foray too far into the classic category and I am firmly intent to keep them separate, being afraid of change as I am.
Here are final thoughts:
- Obviously the bananas need to be really, really ripe. Like, almost rotten. Like, you would not eat them as a snack anymore. I find a good barometer is how easy I can smash them with a fork. My ideal effort is very little (also applies to things other than banana bread). If you’ve got slimy chunks slipping out from under the fork, you’ve jumped the gun. Try not to do that.
- Do not be persuaded to overdo the chocolate chips. Don’t be sassy, there is such a thing as too much chocolate. Too much chocolate is when a) you can’t hold a piece of this bread without chocolate melting all over your hands to the point that you must wash them immediately or face being judged deeply or b), the chocolate coats your mouth in a way that inhibits the delicate banana flavor ever reaching your taste buds.
- Don’t put any butter on this one, let the chocolate sing.
Rainy Day Banana Bread
- 1 2/3 c. flour
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 3/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. baking powder
- 5 1/3 tbs. butter, melted
- 1/3 c. granulated sugar
- 2-3 tbs. honey
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 c. mashed bananas, about 2-3 depending on size
- 1/4 c. sour cream
Oven: 350° Equipment: Greased and floured loaf pan, lined with parchment
Whisk flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. In a mixer, beat together melted butter (let it cool a little bit) and sugar and honey. The residual heat of the butter should help incorporate the honey. Whip for a couple minutes until it’s lighter. Gradually add flour mixture, it will be crumbly. Add eggs and sour cream. Add mashed bananas and mix until just combined. Pour into loaf pan. Sprinkle top with 1-2 tbs. granulated sugar. Bake 50-55 minutes.
*You can make this recipe gluten free by substituting the all-purpose flour with 2 cups of oat flour.
Adapted from Joy of Cooking, which is the size of a bible and has saved me many a times.