Friday, January 6, 2012

A Banana Bread That’s Okay to Make Early

Banana bread is one of those things people rarely make on purpose. Even though you know you’re not going to eat seven bananas in a week, you buy the big bunch anyway, because, “it’s kind of green.” Now, those last three bananas are almost black and you’re feeling like a bad person.

Then you remember banana bread, and long story short, you realize you’re not a bad person…in fact, you kind of rock. While that’s the most common scenario, this scrumptious banana walnut loaf, spiked with dark chocolate chips, is so good you’ll want to make it well before the bananas get to that condition. Yes, it does come out better with extra ripe bananas, but if you can’t wait (like I couldn’t), you’re still in for a treat.

The chocolate chips are sparse here, but make a big difference in the overall flavor. This is a case where more wouldn’t necessarily make it better. This should be more of a snack, not a super-sweet dessert. When Michele makes this, she actually grates unsweetened baking chocolate instead, and it’s amazingly like that also. And, don’t even get me started on how good this is toasted.

The recipe is adapted from one by Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, from their cookbook, City Cuisine. It’s one of the oldest cookbooks we have, and has tons of great recipes, so check the link if you’re interested. Enjoy!


Banana Bread Ingredients:
3 ripe bananas
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup soft butter
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp milk
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/3 cup dark chocolate chips
*Bake in a 9x4 loaf pan at 325 degrees F. for about 1 hour 10 minutes.

134 comments:

Razors Edge said...

looks good. can i use the batter in muffin tins?

MoonFaCe said...

Mmm...looks delicious...I will defiantly try it soon. I laughed so hard at the cold pizza and tuna melt with coffee :D

Anonymous said...

Yummy, I would have never tried putting some chocolate chips, I am so trying that next time I make my banana bread!

Chef John said...

Yes you can do muffins, but not exactly sure on time, maybe 35? You'd have to test.

Anonymous said...

oh boy.. my weekend now has a purpose!

Anonymous said...

Do I have to use baking soda? could i just put in more baking powder?

Greet said...

Your videos just make my day.

Anonymous said...

Is there a difference between this recipe and the one you posted a year or two ago? That video seems to have been deleted though.

Either way, delicious.

Anonymous said...

Love the gooey top to a banana bread! The way my grandmother used to serve this is to cut two thin slices and put a small amount of butter between them and press them together. The velvety mouthfeel of the butter transforms them. That is also a great way to serve pumpkin and zucchini bread.

Anonymous said...

I have a question: in this recipe and some others you beat in the eggs one at a time. I've always been curious: what's the reason for not doing them both at once? Thanks Chef John, can't wait to try this loaf out!

Chef John said...

Just habit, but some batters you can cause to separate if you add the eggs all at once since they are mostly water and the base is fat. Here, may not matter.

Anonymous said...

Please tell me walnuts are optional. I love banana bread, but I absolutely despise nuts.

Chris K. said...

Walnuts are optional. Me, I love nuts. Nothing like a big ol' mouthful of nuts.

So who are the two celebrity chefs in L.A. you stole this recipe from? C'mon, you know you wanna name drop.

Charlie said...

@Anonymous 3.10pm

I think it would be ok to leave them out!

As Chef John always says "You're the boss of your banana bread!"

truthspew said...

I am picky about bananas. Once they start getting brown spots on them I won't eat them. The sweetness is a note off for me, I don't understand it.

But get them right after they've turned yellow and I love them. Still firm, decent sweetness and texture.

But at the brown spot stage, it's banana bread time. And yes, with chopped walnuts. Mmmm!

Chef John said...

yes! no walnuts = no problem!

fukoffski said...

I can't believe you dropped this food wish on us today! I've been saving overripe bananas for my first attempt at banana bread for a month now. It's like... [inhale] you can read my freezer, man... [exhale]

-Jesse from Detroit

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

I always thought that, if you put chocolate chips in banana bread, the terrorists win. But I may have to try it.

Chef John said...

You're thinking of pancakes. ;)

Bulldog said...

silicon bread loaf pan, wow i've gotta get me one of those

Anonymous said...

my giant banana makes everyone blush ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm writing here to get your attention,seeing you are avalanched by emails. I ordered the DVD...when can I expect to receive it? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

I do have the best banana bread recipe...now :)
A local restaurant was featured in the newspaper about the banana bread french toast they serve for brunch...I made this recipe then made it into french toast too. All I can say is I'm glad I did it at home, cause if I had been in public when I tried it...I would have done something inappropriate! Sooooo gooooood!!!!

jadakiss228 said...

Hi Chef John! I made this for Thanksgiving and everyone loved it! Making the rouge was harder than I anticipated, but it all worked out great. ps. I have never spent so much money on cheese, it was good cheese, but still...

Anonymous said...

Tried this last night and it was awesome - the chocolate chips were just right. Thanks Chef John.

byard said...

I'm thinking a handful of sweetened coconut might just kick it up one more notch. Can't hurt eh? Thanks CJ!

1Bigg_ER said...

ok, Chef John, I baked my first banana bread loaf today. An hour later I was ordered to bake another one!! I did skip the nuts

Alex said...

I'm with Jesse from Detroit - have bananas in my freezer just waiting for my first attempt at homemade banana bread! My husband (who only eats perfectly yellow 'nanas) and I have a debate going.. Perhaps you can settle it. When is a banana so overly ripe that it is no longer a good idea to make bread with it?

dretti said...

Could this be made with Quinoa flour instead?

ChefJohnsBiggestFan said...

My little girl and i made this last night...i only used two freckled bananas and used the same chocolate i used for my pot de creme's the night before....and left out NUTS and it turned out DELISHHHHHHH Thank you Chef John! Tonight its SLOPPY JOES! You should nickname them sloppy JOHNS ;)

Graham said...

I just tried this last night. I think I prefer banana bread without the chocolate.

I guess I'm not a fan of chocolate in breads in general. Chocolate chip muffins and pancakes are gross, even though chocolate chip cookies are one of the greatest things ever.

Real Bhuiya said...

hey i'm just wanting to try this recipe, is it okay to use durum wheat flour? i'm new to cooking, so i haven't the slightest clue.

Chef John said...

It should!

Unknown said...

I just put this in the oven, so happy to taste it!

ItalyLovers said...

Could the bananas be mashed up and then frozen for use later?

Anonymous said...

For 1 cup of sugar I need to be eating a very good cake.

Mona said...

I made this recipe last night and it was absolutely delicious. It has the perfect amount of bananas, sugar, nuts and chocolate. I ended up using mini semi sweet chocolate chips because that's all I had in my pantry but it was to die for. Thanks so much Chef John!!! =)

Jasmine said...

Is there a difference in cooking time if I use a stone loaf pan insead of metal?

Anonymous said...

Yay I had EXACTLY 3 ripe bananas so imma go make this right now!

Love your videos chef john :D

AnnaBanana said...

Is it ok to substitute walnuts with pecans?

grumbleghoul said...

alright, lemme see, it took a little over 15 minutes to prepare this recipe (most time was waiting for the butter to get to room temperature...I got impatient and smashed it up with mt potato smoosher) an hour and ten minutes in the oven. Such awesome results, I skipped my usual cookie. You were right, toasted with a little butter was great....toasted with a little peanut butter...awesome.

Anonymous said...

can diabetics use splenda instead of sugar if so how much splenda?

Chef John said...

Sorry, never worked with that before.

Tidewater Epicurean said...

Just made this recipe with my daughter. Yep, you are right, it is the best banana bread recipe. So yummy. Love watching your videos with my daughter then we make your recipes. Great mommy daughter time in the kitchen. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I made this recipe this morning for the family, and it is indeed the best banana bread ever. I am very impressed.

I had one little mishap though: I think I may need a bigger loaf pan.(it's normal size).
I smelled burnt bread only 15 minutes into baking, peeked in the oven to see what was up, and my loaf had risen way, way too high and quite a bit of dough had plopped off and was burning at the bottom of the oven. Good thing this banana bread was the bomb or otherwise I might have been real mad at you. ;-)
I know, I know, I could have placed a cookie sheet under the loaf...but hindsight is always 20/20 isn't it? :D

Anonymous said...

Dear Chef,

This is the tastiest thing I ever tried in my life! And the recipe is perfect - it came out exactly like yours on the video! Million thanks!!!)

Danny said...

Hey! I can't wait to try this recipe. Would you happen to know approxamimately how many calories a slice of bread would be with all of the ingredients? Thanks!

Chef John said...

No idea! Make it anyway.

Anonymous said...

Best. Recipe. Ever. The dark chocolate indeed did amazing things to it! Everyone make this bread NOW! Sighhhh. I love you, Chef John. All the way from India.

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John, Is it 1/2 cup soft butter or 1/2 stick butter? In the video seems like only 1/2 stick or 1/4 cup butter? Thanks.

Chef John said...

1/2 cup, 1 stick!

Anonymous said...

Ah,Chef,your banana jokes always crack me up ;)
This recipe is mouthwatering...good thing you don't need a mixer,i am too lazy to use it and clean it up afterwards!shame on me...i'm baking this the second i get my hands on some bananas

avscully said...

LOVED the video and can't wait to try it as I have three bananas on the counter saying "smash me, smash me"!
What, if any, high altitude (6500ft) adjustments do I need to make?

Anonymous said...

I WANT/NEED that loaf pan of yours!!!! Where would one go about getting one of those??

Anonymous said...

It's in the oven RIGHT NOW!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am not a fan of this recipe. I made this bread and the only change I made was to use white chocolate chips. The bread looked beautiful when it came out of the oven but that is where it ended. We tried the bread after cooling and it is very heavy and tough and doesn't have that pleasing of a flavor. My tried and true banana bread recipe is much better than this. Sorry chef John, but you missed the mark with this.

Chef John said...

Are you sure you made it right?! ;)

This recipe gets universally rave reviews! (as you can see above).

Anonymous said...

DELICIOUS! I added dark chocolate chopped from a bar since I didn't have any chocolate chips, and I baked it in mini muffin pans. All I needed was some vanilla ice cream to make it a dessert!! :0) Thanks for the recipe!

Stephliu04 said...

Could I substitute applesauce for the butter? Or would that just destroy the banana bread?

Anonymous said...

This is a recipe for many people. If I want to make a smaller version of this recipe, can I just cut all the ingredients into half?

Chef John said...

theoretically yes!

Anonymous said...

I love your cooking videos. You explain things so thoroughly. My banana bread tastes really good, but I'm wondering why I don't see the black specks you normnally see in banana bread. I am using very riped bananas. Do you know why?

Unknown said...

I lightly butter (or oil) the pan and dump in some sugar and cinnamon and tap it around the bottom and sides and then tap out the extra. I like the edges sorta crispy. Try it, how often do ya have a bunch of half rotting bananas laying around? I always buy enough with the intention of making banana bread but the banana fiends leave me two. I've also used a dribble or two of brandy. ummm. One can freeze banana puree but then you have to remember where in the freezer you put it!

Stephanie said...

So glad I found this blog! This my second recipe, the first were the red velvet cupcakes for valentines day, and they were a hit and know this bread, also a hit! I'm in love with this blog! Keep up the good work Chef John! Can't wait to keep making your recipes!

Anonymous said...

I've been trying to go wheat free and have found that I can substitute whole wheat flour with Kamut flour with very good results. Your thoughts on substituting white flour in this recipe?

Chef John said...

Sorry, never tried any alt flours.

Anonymous said...

The banana bread is yummy but just can't understand why it is so crumbly when I cut it. It's the same with other recipes. Any tips?

Anonymous said...

This looks so good! I can't wait to try it. I think your blog is the best cooking and baking blog in the whole world, Chef John.

Justintheginger said...

Soooo good. This is my second time making it and my roommates usually eat it all. I guess that is a good thing. haha Oh and it goes VERY well with the coffee.

Justintheginger said...

Soooo good! This is my second time making this and my roommates seem to always eat it all up. I guess that's a good thing. haha

axcel14222 said...

This is a tremendous recipe. I've made it about 5 times. Once though, it overflowed the pan and made a mess of the oven. What might have caused that? The finished product wasn't pretty, but it still tasted great.

Chef John said...

pan too small? not sure! thanks!

Shreya said...

It really is the best recipe! I have made banana bread before but not like this. I also used whole wheat flour and it turned out perfect. Thanks a tom for the great recipe!

Wendy from Taiwan said...

Hmm..yummy..
I've done one, and is really delicious! thank you chef for sharing this!! but can I ask how to preserve it? simply store in the fridge?

Anonymous said...

amazing recipe...I hace been searching for one ad yours is the best...

cece said...

I just started to bake this now.. and I realized I forgot to butter the loaf pan. Other than the bread sticking to the pan, will this affect the taste? Thank you so much. I'm a newbie when it comes to cooking & I wanted to try this recipe :)

Chef John said...

no problem!

james orlov said...

I've just eat one peace of this bread and it's GREAT!
Thank you very much for your very easy to use recipes and how-to's. I've enjoyed as usual.

Tammi said...

thanks chef john, i did a simple and quick version of this today...but i did muffins and i left out the nuts...due to allergies. They came out great, really moist on the inside and the outside was just crunchy! the family loved it! :)

Mellisa said...

Thanks to you iiiiiiii now make the best ever banana bread. Even my hubby who doesn't like aana bread normally is now a believer. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef J! I've got a question: Would it make a HUGE difference if I used brown sugar and wheat flour?

Thanks for your awesome videos, do keep more coming! (My waistline is screaming for you to stop but I'm just gonna ignore that for a bit...)

1Bigg_ER said...

I experimented with adding strawberry milk instead of regular milk! YES YES YES!!

Madonna said...

Hi, Chef John! I love your videos :)

I have a quick question -- the top of my banana bread has a crack and doesn't look as smooth and level as yours does. Any suggestions on what I should be doing to fix that?

CaliKaty said...

I've been on the quest for banana bread perfection and I made this last night and really, this is the best banana bread recipe I have ever made/tasted. Thanks for making me feel awesome about my baking abilities!

Armyyborces said...

I completely agree with CaliKathy. I've been on the same quest for long. I made this yesterday, and I can really say this is the best I have ever made and tasted so far. My family love it.
Thanks to Chef John! :)

Leonora said...

It's half an hour to midnight here in Vienna, Austria and I have a flight to catch to London tomorrow. So, really, those two _very_ ripe bananas on my counter needed some love and purpose. Misread the posting and decided to go with it anyways. Also substituted half the sugar for brown sugar and chopped up a bar of 65% cocoa chocolate (chocolate chips are not sold that commonly over here...) - I am so curious as to how this will turn out - but I'm pretty hopeful that it'll be great. Thank you for all the inspiration, Chef John :)

Your fan from beyond the ocean ;)

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John,

i did this banana cake twice, and both times my cake was over baked on the top.
I used 150C for 110mins, can you advise me better ?

Thanks
Terence

Chef John said...

i can't! sounds like your oven may be off, since 150c os actually lower than 325F.

Angel Jefferson said...

I just had a late night craving for some banana nut bread, went on you tube and found this recipe. Seriously the best banana nut bread everrrr. I left out the chocolate and substituted 1/2 sugar with brown sugar. I'm not much of a cook but even I couldn't screw this up!

EatHealthy2Live said...

Chef, I just made your recipe but I didn't use baking soda.I also changed chocolate for peanut butter. I also changed the milk for condensed milk and lastly I used cashews and almonds instead of walnuts. Also added a real twist, I added 1/2 cup of fresh mango. I mashed the banana and the mango together and then followed you instructions....Man it came out so good. I made it into bread and I did muffins too. I have to say it was so moist,sweet and peanutty...Here is the revised instructions of ingredients

Ingredients:
3 ripe Bananas
1/2 cup of Mango
2 cups all-purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 cup Soft Butter
1 cup Sugar
2 large Eggs
1/4 tsp Vanilla
1 tbsp Condensed Milk
1 cup chopped Cashews
1/2 cup Smooth Peanut Butter

Bake in a Muffin pan at 325 degrees for about 20 minutes.,

I hope you try it...Sooo Good.

Ivy said...

Anon on July 4... you overbaked it. 110 minutes is not one hour and ten minutes. One hour and ten minutes is 70 minutes, so you baked it for 40 minutes too long.
Also, try checking it periodically, since times may vary.
Mine was done after 35 minutes, but I made two loaves instead of one.

Gurdiak Tinar said...

Loved the recipe, already made three loaves. By the way, my father is diabetic, so I made one loaf with granultaed splenda instead of sugar (1 cup), and it tastes mostly the same (it cooked faster for some reason though, so be careful)

Gurdiak Tinar said...

I already made three loaves, and everybody loved them. I made one loaf woth splenda (1 cup) and no sugar chocolate chips,since my father is diabetic, and it tasted pretty much the same (only, it cooked faster for some reason, so be careful)

Margaret Grunseich said...

Hi, Chef John, I want to ask a question...if the answer is/was obvious, please don't laugh...is there a "print button" somewhere so I can print the recipes I love? Such as, the banana-walnut-chocolate chip bread...could not find a print button. Thanks for you fantastic recipes and hilarious videos!!!

Chef John said...

Sorry, no print button! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

This recipe is great. And surprisingly, it takes just as good if not better the next day all moist and delicious and stuff.

Thanks!

Andrew

Anonymous said...

I'm going to be participating in a family cooking contest! Wish me luck <3

Erica Beache said...

Made it and loved it!

like2cook said...

Thanks for this recipe and video, Chef John...going to bake it this afternoon. Haven't tasted Banana bread since my mother made it when I was a little tike...many years ago :)

Luting Kuo said...

Just made it into muffins(25 mins), instead of chocolate and nuts, I put one frozen strawberry in each muffin so they are school friendly.
Wow! Best banana muffin ever made! Thanks chef John!

Luting Kuo said...

My kids and I watched your video last night before going to bed. I made it into muffins (25mins save a lot of time)I skipped the chocolate and nuts but put 1frozen strawberry in each muffin to be school friendly.
Wow! They are so delicious that I have to post my comment!
Thanks chef John!

cody said...

Just made this banana bread this morning. I've shared this recipe to my friends. It is great! recette ananas roti

Koenig said...

I'm going to try this out soon! Though I will use milk chocolate chips since I hate dark chocolate.

Lai Nei Lau said...

Chef
My mom not really like banana! So if I skip the banana and what I have to replace in .... more butter or...?
Lily

Anna Berman said...

Hi Lily. Chef John is out on a well deserved vacation and I will be answering questions meanwhile. If your mom is not a fan of bananas, I would recommend using shredded zucchini instead. Will be delicious! Enjoy.

Treize said...

My grandpa forgot his bananas (figurative/literal?) in his car. It's like 66F outside and 70+F indoors. He finally remembered them three days later and his car smells like ripe bananas. He gave them to me to deal with them then I recalled that Chef John said that he had the BEST banana loaf in the sea of banana loaf recipe versions. And Chef John being the culinary pope, I was bound to believe him.

But I digress. Is it okay to use the pyrex glass loaf pans? I have everything ready, down to the Ghirardeli baking chips. >_< I am so excited to bake it tonight so I can eat it for breakfast (toasted) with melty homemade butter (butter churning method courtesy of Chef John).

Is it alright to use the pyrex? How do I adjust the time and/or temperature?

Thanks!
Me

Unknown said...

Chef John was spot on when he said this recipe made the best banana bread in the world -- yummy! I had a whopping seven bananas that were more black than yellow (the skins, I mean) and doubled the recipe, making half banana muffins with almonds and the other half a tube cake with pecans (pecans definitely better). Mmmmmmm

albash said...

It was really great
Although i changed a few things of the recipe

Instead of 1 cup of suger i've put half white granulated suger, 1/4 cup brown suger 1/4 cup maple syrup

And reduced the amount of walnuts to half & added another half cup of becan

Also added some nutmeg & cinnamon

I'm the boss of my loaf, am i not ?

S/V Blondie-Dog said...

Hey Chef!

I'll have 'ya know that I done baked me my first banana bread and it was good!

And I'll also have 'ya know 'dat it done made me feel good to smush up 'sum bananas and not let 'em go to waste.

Thanks! Your 'da best!

(Incidentally, the difference between "your" and "you're" is knowing your s*** and knowing you're s*** not 'dat 'ya didn't already done know 'dis!)

Toshiko Suisei said...

A perfect banana bread recipe Chef John! Thanks! I like how coating the walnuts and mini toll-house morsels in the flour before adding the wet helps keep the nuts and chips suspended evenly in the batter while it bakes, instead of their gravitating toward the lower third of the loaf. Very yummy and picture perfect! =D

ohmygah said...

Ummm, hello^^. Do you have to use all purpose flour? Is there any substitute, because I only have Bread Flour.

Chef John said...

That will work.

ohmygah said...

Helloooo we made the banana bread and it turned out... AH-MAH-ZINGGG!!
It smells so goooddddd. THANK YOU. P.s We're still in grade school so you should be proud :P

W Caruso said...

I made this and brought it to work today. You have been called a genius and the bread has been called a little slice of heaven. I agree with both.

W Caruso said...

I made this and brought it to work today. You have been called a genius and the bread has been called a little slice of heaven. I agree with both.

Caroline Frey said...

I made this last night for the first time. Substitute the semi-sweet chocolate with 70% cacao dark chocolate bar (100g) and it was delicious. Perfect for breakfast "wake me up.". Thank you!!!

Tracy said...

I made this today and it was so good! Similar to what my mom and great grandma made but even better! (Shh, don't tell mom). I am your newest follower/stalker and can't wait to try more of your recipes.

Hema Sundeep said...

I make this so often, and my friends keep asking me for more. My husband loves this big time !! Thank you for posting this simple but magical recipe !!!

Ria O said...

ahah i can eat a wole bunch of bananas that same day that i bought them. but i like te recipe so gonna save up a few next time.

Borbely-Kenderesi Andrea said...

Hello Chef John, I must go and take aktion - this banan bread recipe looks like I found my favorit for coffee break:))) thank you so much and I love your blog very much
<3 Andrea / Germany

Borbely-Kenderesi Andrea said...

Hi Chef John, thank you for this great banana bread - it looks like I have found my favorit for the coffee breaks:))) I love your blog here and wish you all the best
Love: Andrea/Germany

Aidosh said...

Does anyone know if I can skip baking powder and vanilla extract?

Jasmine Bao said...


Thank you Chef John! I just made this for some friends. Because some of them can't take gluten, I substituted AP flour with my homemade gluten free cake flour(oat flour, coconut flour, brown rice flour, xanthan gun). Delicious!! Everyone loves it, it's so moist than no one can tell its made of whole grain. I also substituted stevia for sugar, added 6 tbsp Greek yogurt because coconut flour absorbs so many water.

umm abdullah khalidah said...

I have a problem I thought I memorized this recipe from making it soo many times but I guess not lol I put in two teaspoons of baking soda and baking powder each they are still in the oven do you think they'll be ok

Toni Rose Andersen said...

I have done this recipe of yours twice and my family just love it. Thank you so much for making the boring banana bread into irresistible banana bread. :)

Toni Rose Andersen said...

I have done this recipe of yours twice and my family just love it. Thank you so much for making the boring banana bread into irresistible banana bread. :)

Charming_Treasures said...

I love this recipe, Chef John u rock, I've been doing your recipes & telling people that it's all you. Your such an inspiration to me!!!

Charming_Treasures said...

Chef John u rock, I love doing your recipes & telling people that it's your blog that is working for me!!!

Akash Ramsaroop said...

I made this for my mother who loved it! She even asked me for the recipe! That sir, is a huge compliment.

An opened jar of raspberry jam said...

Hi Chef John, is it ok to substitute white sugar with unrefined cane sugar?

kutu_loncat said...

just made it today. its sooooooo goooood and its not too sweet. this recipe is a keeper. thanks chef john.

SianHulse said...

I made this today and it was fantastic! Chopped walnuts are a must have! For other English Chef John fans, I baked it at 160 degrees Celsius for the hour and ten.

Jordan Fischer said...

Looks like I'm really late to this post. Several years actually. However I was wondering if I could make the bread dough ahead of time and bake it Christmas morning. Would leaving it in the fridge 24 or even 48 hours ruin the bread? Thanks chef John. looks amazing!

Chef John said...

I think a day before is fine!