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Let's all agree that a quick bread that can be served as breakfast at 7 a.m. and dessert at 7 p.m. is the best kind of baked good. And if it's got that soft, slightly underbaked texture, well, we'd be fools not to try it.
This best-ever banana bread can be mixed up in a single bowl with a handful of ingredients likely already in your kitchen. Sweet spotted bananas and brown sugar lend a caramel-like flavor, a smattering of chocolate chips adds interest to every bite, and a special ingredient gives it that ultra-moist texture we all know and love.
The ripe bananas themselves add inherent moisture and sweetness to this loaf -- just be sure to wait until they're spotty and brown, which means their starches are breaking down into sugars. But for a truly tender loaf, you'll need a scoop of full-fat sour cream. Sour cream contains lactic acid which tenderizes the strands of gluten, and it also contains a high percentage of fat, both of which help make the loaf extra moist.
You'll need three large bananas yielding between 1 and 1 1/4 cups mashed purée for this recipe, and no more. If you use frozen and thawed bananas here, strain the fruits' syrup that releases during the thawing process. That excess moisture can lead to a soggy loaf. Mash the freckled fruit with a fork or potato masher until very smooth so that it combines seamlessly with the other quick bread components.
Makes 1 (9-by-5-inch) loaf
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 very ripe large bananas
1 large egg
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 350 F. Coat a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray; set aside.
2. Melt 4 tablespoons unsalted butter in the microwave or on the stove. Mash 3 bananas in a large bowl with a fork or potato masher until smooth (1 to 1 1/4 cups mashed banana). Stir in the butter, 1 large egg, 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar, 1/3 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup canola oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
3. Add 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Stir with a rubber spatula until just incorporated but no dry spots remain. Measure 3/4 cup chocolate chips, then remove and reserve 2 tablespoons for topping. Fold the remaining chocolate chips into the batter.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with the reserved 2 tablespoons chocolate chips.
5. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean, with a few moist crumbs attached, 55 to 60 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan, then flip the bread out of the pan onto a cooling rack and let cool completely before slicing.
Recipe notes: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to four days. The bread can also be wrapped tightly in aluminum foil and frozen for up to three months.
This article is written by Patty Catalano from The Kitchn and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.