Banana bread

4 Mar 2016, 11:28 p.m.

This is the banana bread recipe I've been making lately, based on the one in Kelsey's copy of The Joy of Cooking. David doesn't like it, which just leaves more for us. It is unfortunately not vegan.


  • 1 ⅓ cups (320 ml) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 5 ⅓ tbsp (80 g) unsalted butter
  • ⅔ cup (160 ml) sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • ½ cup coarsely-chopped walnuts or pecans
  • ½ cup chocolate chips


We keep overripe bananas in the freezer for future baking, so the first step is to thaw them out. I find it works well to put them in the oven tin, pour boiling water over them and let them defrost while I mix up the other ingredients. Also, preheat your oven to 350 ℉ / 175 ℃ / gas mark 4.

Whisk together the first set of ingredients in a mixing bowl (if you have two differently-sized bowls, use the smaller one for this). Then put the butter and sugar in another (bigger) bowl and beat them together with an electric mixer. It helps if you let the butter soften and cut it into chunks first.

Add the dry ingredients to the creamed butter and beat everything together. Then add the eggs and beat them in too. At this point the mixture usually forms into a giant blob and climbs up the beaters, doing its best to engulf the whole apparatus. I have to stop several times and subdue it before carrying on.

Now you can retrieve your defrosted bananas, shake the fruit out of the peel into a bowl and mash them with a fork. Get someone else to grease the tin, if you like, while you gently mix the bananas, nuts and chocolate chips into the batter. Until I lived with Kelsey, it had never even occurred to me that you were allowed to add chocolate chips to banana bread, but you are and it's great!

Scrape the batter into a baking tin. The one I use is 26 cm by 20 cm and the batter fills it a centimetre or so high. It rises quite a lot, so don't worry if it looks a bit sad and thin. Put it in the middle of the oven and check on it after about 30 minutes. (The book says it takes 50-60 minutes to bake, which in my experience is way off, either because our oven is fan-assisted or because I've been setting the ambiguously-labelled temperature dial wrong this whole time.) It's done when you can poke it with a fondue fork and have it come out clean. The outside should be brown and the inside golden yellow.

I would post a picture here but I haven't yet managed to take one before it's all eaten.