I've always felt like banana bread was the most opportunistic of all the bread because it's the one that waits until it sees that you have some really overripe bananas, and then suddenly it occurs to you to make it.
Which is interesting, too, because there aren't many foods where you ideally want to wait for one of the ingredients to almost go bad before you make it.
But there it is — banana bread. And once you have that, of course, you have to add chocolate chips to it, and that's what we're here to talk about.
Specifically, adding the chocolate chips. When you make quick bread, you combine the wet ingredients in one bowl, the dry ingredients in another, then mix them together and bake them.
And if you've made chocolate chip banana bread anytime in the last let's say 200 years, there's a very good chance that you combined the wet and the dry, then folded in the chocolate chips right at the end. And then when you baked it, all the chocolate chips sank to the bottom.
Or, maybe you've never made it before in your life, so that's never happened to you. Either way, it doesn't have to happen to anyone anymore, because of what I'm about to tell you: You should mix the chocolate chips in with the dry ingredients.
Coating the chips with flour gives them a much more grippy exterior, and the added friction helps hold them in place long enough for the batter to set.
Let me also emphasize that a banana cannot be too ripe for banana bread, although they can be not ripe enough. They should be seriously dark brown, maybe a few fruit flies hang around, you know.
Simple, no? Go forth, therefore, and bake ye some.
- 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (freshly ground)
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 large bananas (very ripe)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs (beaten)
- ½ cup butter (or shortening)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Thoroughly grease and flour a loaf-shaped baking dish (or use a nonstick baking pan or a flexible silicone pan).
- Unwrap the butter and heat it in the microwave, in a microwave-safe bowl, for about a minute, until it's thoroughly melted. Set it aside at room temperature to cool, but don't let it solidify again.
- Peel the bananas, and mash them up in a separate mixing bowl. I like to use a potato masher, but a fork will do the job. Add the eggs and vanilla, and mix well. Now while stirring, slowly pour the melted butter into egg-banana mixture and stir until incorporated.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl, and stir until you can see that the cinnamon and nutmeg are evenly blended. Then add the chocolate chips and stir until they're fully coated with flour.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ones and mix very gently until any large pockets of dry flour have been moistened. There should still be a few small lumps. Too much stirring, or stirring too vigorously, is bad for your banana bread. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake immediately.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean and the edge of the bread starts to separate from the pan.
- Once the pan is cool enough to touch, carefully invert the pan — the loaf should drop right out, so make sure you support it with your other hand. Let the loaf cool on a wire rack at room temperature.