When my son was little, like most children, he had a limited palate. He has long since outgrown that and now eats things that I wouldn’t, but one thing he has never outgrown is his love for my banana bread. He and Frances are coming for Thanksgiving and so not only am I getting ready for the holiday, but I want to have some of their favorite treats on hand as well.
Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips
Yield: One 9 x 5 inch loaf
2 cups, sifted all-purpose flour OR 1 cup AP flour + 1/4 cup toasted wheat germ and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 cup amaranth flour (I used to try to get as much nutrition into this as I could without compromising the taste)
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup butter at room temperature
scant 1 cup granulated sugar
3 large over-ripe bananas mashed (I use bananas that are BLACK! They have the most flavor and have almost started to ferment. Those fruit flies know a thing or two. I mean it – black!)
2 large eggs
1/3 cup of milk mixed with 1 teaspoon of distilled vinegar (any kind of milk will do). You are basically making curdled milk. You could use buttermilk if you have it on-hand, but most people don’t.
12 ounces of chocolate chips (semi-sweet or up to 60% cacao, but no higher) tossed with 2 Tablespoons of the flour (or flour mixture)
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lavishly butter (or use a cooking spray like PAM) a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan, preferably non stick.
- In a mixer (although for years I did this by hand) cream the butter and the sugar, mixing well. Add the eggs and bananas and blend thoroughly.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Blend well after each addition.
- Stir in the chocolate chips by hand. If you didn’t toss them with the flour, the taste will be fine, but most will sink to the bottom. The flour prevents this from happening.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 1.25 hours. Then turn off the oven, open the door part way and leave the bread in the oven for 10 minutes more.
- After the 10 minutes, allow the pan to cool for about 20 minutes or until it is cool enough to handle without oven mitts. Turn the bread out onto the rack to finish cooling completely. This will get even moister over time, especially if you substitute 1/4 cup of the flour for toasted wheat germ. The wheat germ and the black bananas is what gives my banana bread its darker color.