We are in search of the most perfect banana bread. To us, that might include some additional ingredients like walnuts and chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet), but those are easily added or removed from the core recipe of the bread itself. The BREAD part of this famous dessert is what we are trying to master. We’ve had all kinds, consistencies, a densities. We want to make our perfect banana bread, without going crazy with sugar and butter (keeping the health factor in mind). There are thick ones, fluffy ones, moist ones etc. This recipe is pretty darn up there in terms of perfection. Of course, this is subjective, but OUR idea of the PERFECT BANANA BREAD is the following:
Moist and fluffy inside (but with no raw chunks of banana. Some recipe suggest you leave some larger chucks of the banana un-mashed in the batter - we don’t like this so much).
Medium density: The density shouldn’t be tooooo light and fluffy. Meaning the density of the bread should still be moderate without being too heavy and thick. We want to avoid it being SO moist and fluffy that each slice kind of comes apart (tears off). THE TEST: you should be able to pick up a cooled piece (about 1 inch thick) without it bending and breaking off right away. The crust has a big role in this and should be crispy and harder than the inner bread.
3 medium bananas, mashed
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
Optional: 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Optional: 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
TRICK TO RIPPEN BANANAS: If you don’t have ripe banana’s, you can put them in the oven for 15-30 minutes and they’ll be good to go. Put unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and place in the oven at 300 F. Check on them frequently. You know they’re done when the peels become shiny and black.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with nonstick spray. Spray with nonstick spray or coat with butter. Set aside.
In a medium bowl mash 3 of the bananas with a fork, leaving them slightly lumpy.
In a large bowl stir together the butter and sugar. Mix in the eggs and vanilla and stir until smooth. Add the sour cream, mashed bananas, baking soda, and salt, and stir until blended. Next mix in the flour until incorporated.
Fold in the chocolate chips, walnuts. We made one loaf without this optional ingredients. If you do the same, use 1/4 cup of each or desired amount.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 15 minutes and then carefully lift the banana bread out of the pan to cool on a wire rack.