Unfortunately, year-round pumpkin bread isn’t a possibility for most of us. Very fortunately though, there are some other awesome quickbreads that work beautifully as either breakfast or dessert. One of my all-time favorites: banana bread.
Just about everybody out there has had banana bread before–its a favorite for so many people for good reason. One of the problems with such popularity though is that there’s also many a banana bread recipe out there that kind of give banana bread a bad name. You know the kind–those fruit breads where, that, no matter what the fruit is, all taste exactly the same? All you taste is semi-moist bread and a bunch of spice, usually stale nutmeg? Kind of a downer. Apples don’t taste like bananas–why should they in bread?
This banana bread is nothing of the sort. I derived my recipe from this one and fell in love. Aside from the beautiful look and texture of this bread, the final result succeeded beautifully in the most important way of judging any banana bread: it tasted very fully of banana! To keep things interesting, the bread also has walnuts and chocolate chunks mixed in. Something I considered that my mom does (but didn’t get around to this time) was adding a crumbly sweet streusel topping on the surface of the bread, but honestly, it didn’t need it (but if you have an insatiable sweet tooth or want to make this a dessert, it would make for a great flourish). The only difficulty with this bread is keeping other prying hands from tearing through your loaf before you get your fair share.
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 4 ripe bananas
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1.5 tsp vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup walnuts
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the room temperature butter. Add in the sugar until well incorporated followed by the eggs, one at a time.
Meanwhile, mash up 3 of the ripe bananas into a mushy pulp. Beat this, the lemon juice, and vanilla extract into the egg bowl.
Whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
In another bowl, mix a tablespoon of the flour mixture with the chocolate chips, crushed walnuts, and sliced pieces of the remaining banana (I like chunks so you get bursts of stronger banana flavor). Adding the flour like this helps to suspend the solids within the bread batter later, preventing them from sinking right to the bottom which would make for a disappointing slice of banana bread.
Finally, add the flour bowl into the wet bowl and beat only as much as is necessary to combine.
With the banana bread batter ready to go, fold the contents of the walnut bowl into the batter.
Grease your bread pan with butter and pour in the batter. If you’re like me and have a bread pan that is a smidge too small (why did I buy this dumb thing?!), you’ll have some extra batter. I usually use this to make one or two muffins. Bake the bread for 1 hour (or until a tester comes out clean) in a 350°F oven (if doing muffins, ~30 minutes is more appropriate).
Finally, give the bread some time to cool down after the oven, and either dig in now, or save it for breakfast during the week (like me!). Whenever you dig in, enjoy!