Friday, June 27, 2014

Banana Bread with Chocolate Chunks

I have several recipes for Banana Bread, and every time I make banana bread, I change it up a bit. It usually depends on what's in the pantry, and mostly it doesn't matter. Two musts: baking soda and over ripe bananas--black and squishy, if possible!

The other day I was out of whole milk, so I used 1/2 half and half and 1/2 two percent. I actually prefer buttermilk, but you use what you have. Oil or butter? Well, I used butter this last time, but oil works just as well, and I think I might even prefer it, but my canola oil was a bit rank, so I threw it out. I did think about olive oil, but opted for Irish butter! As always, I added chocolate chunks. Oh, and this is a one bowl recipe! How easy is that!!!

Makes 1 loaf--easily doubled!

1/2 cup sweet butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
3 medium-sized bananas (I used 4 smaller ones), very ripe
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp Madagascar vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 dark chocolate, chopped

Preheat  oven to 350°F. Line 8 x 5 loaf pan with parchment, letting excess hang over the sides. Spray  inside with nonstick cooking spray. (this last time I buttered the pan and then used some flour)
1. Whisk together melted butter and sugar in mixing bowl until combined. (If you cream the sugar and butter, you'll have a more cake-like banana bread--always a choice!)
2. Add eggs and whisk until combined and mixture is smooth.
3. Whisk milk and vanilla into batter.
4. Peel bananas and add to bowl. Using a fork, mash them into the batter. Leave bananas as chunky or as smooth as you prefer.
5. Add flour, baking soda, and salt to bowl. Switch to spatula and stir until ingredients are just barely combined and no more dry flour is visible. (Don't overstir)
6. Fold in nuts and chocolate.
7. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Smooth top of batter.
8. Bake 55 to 65 minutes: Bake until top of banana bread is dark brown with some yellow insides showing (there's usually a crack down the top) and toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Baking time varies, so start checking around 50 minutes or so.
9. Cool in pan on rack for 10 minutes.
10. Lift loaf out of pan and set on cooling rack to cool for another 10 minutes before slicing.

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