There are few breads in the world that I love more than Chocolate Chip Banana Bread. I think it all started many Thanksgivings ago, when my Aunt brought three different loaves of bread for a Breakfast potluck. There was a Zucchini variety, and another kind with Carrot, but then….my eyes caught a slightly brownish-yellow loaf, with mini-chocolate chips scattered throughout the bread. Over the next few days, I consumed at least half a loaf on my own.
For awhile, I would look forward to having the bread at family gatherings, or whenever there happened to be a loaf in the house. When I lived in Orleans, I even found the French equivalent: a “Ficelle,” or a small baguette, mixed with mini-chocolate chips and mashed banana. But then, my cravings grew more intense, and I knew that I needed to find a quick, easy recipe of my own to follow.
This past Friday night when I got home from work, I had one of these aforementioned cravings. I scoured the kitchen for bananas, and only came up with two. Unfortunately, most recipes call for a minimum of three ripe bananas.
After a quick Google search for “banana bread with two bananas,” I managed to uncover the perfect recipe. It was called “10 Minute Banana Bread,” and is perfect for Friday nights after a long work-week (and when you don’t have the right number of bananas). It’s from “The Fresh Loaf,” a website for Artisan Bread-makers, and was adapted from the 1997 Joy of Cooking.
The recipe doesn’t specifically call for chocolate chips, but I decided to add a couple handfuls anyway. The only problem I had with the recipe was the baking time….I checked on my loaf after 50 minutes, and it was still a little gooey in the middle. But then, 10 more minutes seemed to be too much. It could just be my oven, but I would start with 55 minutes, and check on the loaf every couple of minutes to make sure it doesn’t get too brown.
My loaf looked a little well-done, but when I tasted a slice, the bread was moist, and the chocolate chips were gooey and melted. It definitely satisfied my craving, and tasted even better the next morning for breakfast.
Out of the many banana bread recipes I’ve found, this one is the fastest. I’d try it again- if only to smell the banana, sugar, and chocolate while the bread is baking….
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (adapted from “The Fresh Loaf” and “The Joy of Cooking 1997”)
Makes 1 full-sized loaf or 2 small loaves
Preheat the oven to 350.
In one bowl, combine:
1/2 stick (4-5 tablespoons) butter, softened
2 or 3 very ripe bananas
2/3 cup sugar
Use a potato masher, fork, or spoon to squish the banana and mix the ingredients together. It is alright for there to be small (1 centimeter) chunks of banana in the batter, but you want most of the banana to be reduced to mush.
In another bowl, combine:
1 1/3 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until the ingredients are blended together.
Stir in chocolate chips (dark, semi-sweet, milk, or mini of any variety). A handful (about a half a cup) should be enough, but you can add more.
Pour the dough into a regular-sized greased loaf pan (or two small loaf pans), and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Small loaves take around 30 minutes, a normal-sized loaf takes around 50 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool. After they have cooled for 5 or 10 minutes the loaves can be removed from the pan to cool. Once they are cool they can be individually wrapped and frozen. Or, you can just wrap it up on a plate, and save it for breakfast the next morning.