We all need banana bread in our life right now.
There are few things as easy, or as comforting, to make. Plus, you can take advantage of your hoarding instincts. Buy too many bananas, let them go bad, and then make this banana bread.
I usually use the bowl of a stand mixer to whip up batter, but in this case, I mixed everything by hand. This banana bread is actually the easiest thing to make. You combine all the ingredients in a big bowl, stir with a spoon (mine was oversized and probably supposed to be used for tasting soup), and then pour it into a prepared loaf pan.
What is a prepared loaf pan? you might ask. Basically, it’s a loaf pan that has been sprayed down with canola oil within an inch of its life and then lined with parchment paper. I heard from one of my friends who owns a bakery in town that the best advice she ever got from one of of her former bosses was to always overspray. This advice has served me well.
Also, a trick for lining the pan with parchment paper is cutting it too thin, not thick. I think a lot of people (myself included) try to cut the paper to fit the very edge of the pan, but if you do that, you’ll always fail because the paper needs to fit snugly along the bottom. Try laying the piece of paper flat along the top edge, seeing where the inside line is, and cutting along that.
The best part about this bread is the smell. My whole apartment smells like banana chocolate paradise, which is a pretty good smell to have right now. I feel happy sniffing the air, which is even more important because I’m doing that 24/7 these days.
If you’re not a fan of chocolate chips (who are you), you can use chopped nuts or dried fruit in this bread. However, I’d recommend the chocolate route. I usually use chocolate chips, but I’m rationing them so I cut up a big bar of chocolate and sprinkled it in the batter. It’s my best combo yet.
Here’s a song to get you started on your banana bread journey. It made me cry yesterday. Just a friendly reminder to feel your feelings right now.
Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (spotted or brown)
1/2 cup neutral oil (I used canola)
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp ground flax seed plus 5 Tbsp filtered water
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp sea salt
4 oz bar of dark chocolate, chopped
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix all the ingredients except the chocolate together in a big bowl. Stir in the chocolate. Pour the batter into a prepared loaf pan (see blog post for instructions) and then smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake the bread on the top shelf of the oven for about an hour, or until the top is golden brown and cracked and it springs back to the touch. You can also test for doneness with a toothpick. Insert it into the middle of the loaf and pull it out. The loaf is done when there are only a few wet crumbs. Let it cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!