A few years ago, I had the world’s best boss. Not only was he a great mentor, but he was (and still is) a great friend. We have many things in common — a love of food being one of them. For Christmas one year, he gave me Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything — a definite must-have for anyone who spends any time in the kitchen. It’s the only cookbook I consistently use and — in my opinion — is the best one available.
Within its pages lies this banana bread recipe, which Bittman himself describes as “the ultimate.” And really, who’s gonna argue with that? Outrageously moist inside with a tender crust on the outside, this banana bread really is the bomb. And as if it weren’t good enough on its own, I like mine toasted and slathered with peanut butter. Don’t judge.
The Ultimate Banana Bread
From Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything
What you need:
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter at room temperature, plus some for greasing the pan
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork until smooth
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
How you do it:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan.
- Mix together the dry ingredients. With an electric mixer, cream the butter with the sugar, then slowly beat in the eggs, bananas and vanilla.
- Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and beat just until combined, being sure to scrape down the edges of the bowl a few times. Gently fold in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until nicely browned. A toothpick inserted into the center of the bread will come out fairly clean when it is done, but because of the bananas this bread will remain moister than most. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes before removing from the pan.
Count me IN! Banana bread is one of my faves and with the additional of chocolate chips. How can I argue?
Looks like a wonderful and tasty banana bread which I love!
I love banana bread oh so very much but the little monsters that I love so much eat all the bananas before I have a chance to make it! The last time I made banana bread (i spirited a few bananas away in the freezer) I think I used a combination of apple sauce and oil but I must try it with butter. You know, since butter makes everything better.
It’s definitely the butter. The original recipe calls for a half cup of shredded coconut, too. I’ve done it before and it’s delicious, but I wasn’t in the coconut mood this time. I think it helps with the moistness (is that a word?) as well.
I love that cookbook but never think of it as a resource for baking. Your bread looks delicious!
There are some pretty good baking recipes in there. Check it out next time you’re not sure what to make.
I’ve almost bought that book a few times, it seems like a solid investment – his NY Times recipes were great. And the banana bread looks delicious!
I got that cookbook for Christmas but haven’t had the time to make anything from it. I’m going to need to fix that real soon 🙂
This banana bread looks luscious! I’m curious to have a look at Mark Bittman’s book. Really sounds like a must-have.
Banana bread is the BEST! And then when you add some good ole chocolte chips to it, it becomes BESTEST 🙂
Alright, you’ve put it out there, so I have to try it! Ultimate and banana bread sound like they are meant to go together. I can’t wait to try it 🙂
That is also my go-to recipe for banana bread! IT really is the ultimate! Fantabulous!
I knew I liked you! 🙂 Haha.
This looks really good. I love the idea of adding chocolate chips! Good thing I have a few bananas getting past their prime on my counter!
Ooh I love banana bread but I have never added chocolate chips before – what a wonderful idea. YUMMY!
Mmm…chocolate chips in banana bread? I won’t argue with that! And yes, I agree, Mark Bittman’s books are amazing. I have his How To Cook Everything Vegetarian cookbook. I also want to get the one you have, even tho some of the recipes coincide.
I love a good banana bread. How can I resist anything called ultimate?
it’s got chocolate!
This looks delicious! I love banana bread! Adding chocolate chips is a great idea!!
I’ve heard great things about this cookbook! I might have to pick up a copy for my own kitchen 🙂
I love banana bread! This one with chocolate chips looks extremely delicious and satisfying.
I think I need a slice RIGHT now!! I’ve been eying that cookbook too … I just might need to make a little trip to the bookstore …
this banana bread recipe is fantastic! added blueberries instead of chocolate and it was amazing! will definitely go by Bittman’s book. thanks for posting…
Yum, sounds great! I’m going to try it with blueberries next time. Thanks for the suggestion.
I just made this last night and I did add the chocolate chips. My co worker just said it was the best banana bread he ever had! (I did just use 2 cups of regular flour, and instead of regular vanilla extract I used Vanilla Bean Paste from Williams Sonoma (http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/nielsen-massey-vanilla/)
I haven’t made this in a while — gotta get it back into the rotation! It is wonderful.
It is… and it’s going to start feeling like fall really soon, which means…. more baking!
Seems like a classic recipe. I took a classic recipe and once ran out of butter (oops!) so I substituted with canola.
You can check out my experience here: