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I apologize for how long it has been since I posted a recipe. I was sick for a week, then catching up on work from being sick, and now the cold weather in the Southern U.S. is wreaking havoc on my electricity and internet access. Hopefully, I’ll be back to my regular bi-weekly posting schedule next week!
My cat loves to watch me cook and bake. He sits on a chair behind me and carefully inspects all of my work. I got a quick picture of him watching me make this banana bread and thought it was too cute not to share.
This is my husband’s Best Banana Bread Ever recipe. And this recipe deserves that name! There are a few quirks in this recipe so I was doubtful the first time I made it with my husband. All of my doubts proved unfounded and I learned to have more faith in my husband’s baking skills.
As a quick note, I doubled the recipe when I took these photos. That is why you will see six bananas and three mini loaves and one big loaf. Normally, this recipe only uses three bananas and only yields one full size loaf or three mini loaves. I use these mini bread pans for my mini loaves.
The first time I made this recipe I was convinced there wasn’t enough leavening (only ½ teaspoon baking soda???) Much to my surprise, the banana bread turned out perfectly light and fluffy.
My second mistake was that I tried to lightly flour the pans like I would for a cake. The bread pan needs to be heavily floured. None of that tapping the sides and dumping out the extra. My husband’s recipe says “The flour is really important for the bread to ‘climb’ against while baking.” I honestly haven’t been able to find any baking info to support this, but I know that heavily flouring the pans works very well for this recipe.
After the bread pan is floured and set aside, preheat the oven to 350° F. In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, baking soda, and salt) and stir well. Set aside.
The next step is very, very important for this recipe. In a medium bowl, break down the ripe bananas into large chunks. Whatever you do, DO NOT puree or mash the banana! This is very important to getting the texture and flavor balance right for this best banana bread ever recipe. If you think the chunks are too large you’ve probably done it right. You can also look at the photo above for reference. I used this fancy whisk my dad gave me to break down the bananas and it worked a charm!
As you add and mix in the rest of the wet ingredients be careful not to break down the banana further. To help with this, lightly beat the eggs before adding them to the banana mixture. Once you’ve beaten and added the eggs, buttermilk, melted butter, and vanilla stir it gently to combine. If you do not have buttermilk on hand, you can substitute ¼ cup of plain yogurt or ¼ cup of sour milk. To make sour milk put ¼ cup of regular milk in a bowl. Remove 1 teaspoon of the milk and replace it with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar. A lot of people prefer lemon juice because the flavor is not as intense as vinegar, but I think that vinegar works better.
Next make a well in your dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Fold gently (to avoid mashing the banana pieces).
Gently pour the batter into the prepared bread pan. Bake in an oven preheated to 350° F for 45-50 minutes. You’ll know the bread is done when it has a golden brown color and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf is not gooey but has a few crumbs still stuck to it (dry banana bread is definitely not delicious).
I hope you enjoy the best banana bread ever!
Best Banana Bread Ever
- 2 cups All-Purpose flour
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup milk chocolate chips
- ½ cup toasted coarsely chopped walnuts
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 ripe bananas
- 2 large eggs (lightly beaten)
- 6 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¼ cup buttermilk (or sour milk. see notes)
- This recipe yields one large loaf or three mini loaves. I usually double the recipe so I can make three mini loaves and one large loaf.
- Butter a non-stick bread pan, then flour well and set aside. The flour is really important for the bread to “climb” against while baking. Trust me, it makes a huge difference! Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- In a large bowl add the flour, sugar, chocolate chips, chopped walnuts, baking soda, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, coarsely mash the three ripe bananas. Do NOT puree the bananas. You want the bananas to still be chunky.
- Add the wet ingredients (lightly beaten eggs, melted butter, vanilla, and buttermilk) and mix until combined. Be careful not to reduce the banana chunks any farther.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredient mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Gently FOLD (do not stir or beat) the mixture just until combined. Again, try not to reduce the banana chunks.
- Pour into the prepared bread pan and spread the mixture evenly across the top.
- Bake at 350° F for 45-50 minutes. The bread is done when it has a golden brown color and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the loaf is not gooey but has a few crumbs still stuck to it (dry banana bread is definitely not delicious).