Banana Bread had its moment of fame in the early stages of lockdown, but there’s a reason this bread has long been a national favorite.
The key to the perfect banana bread? Over-ripe bananas – and we’re talking peel-is-now-all-black, “we should have thrown these away” kind of bananas. Chrissy Teigen famously Tweeted about exchanging romaine lettuce for ripe bananas in March of 2020, just because she wanted the perfect banana bread texture. As bananas ripen, their sugar content and banana flavor increases, leading to a spongier, better-tasted product.
This recipe by Beth Le Manach, chef and host of “Entertaining with Beth” is truly one of the best you’ll find online.
Beth’s Ultimate Banana Bread uses oil instead of butter for added moisture. It also brings a certain lightness into the batter. A small amount of water ensures the mixture won’t get too thick. While she goes low on the sugar, Le Manach relies on the ripened bananas for the perfect amount of sweetness
“If you add vanilla and sugar,” she says in her video, “you get both sweetness and flavor.”
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Don’t forget to be careful when stirring. An over-mixed banana bread batter will lead to a dry and tough bread – not what you want when enjoying it with a nice cup of hot coffee.
This recipe fully embodies Le Manach’s motto “minimal effort for maximum impact.” Using both nuts and chocolate chips, a little goes a long way. Specifically, Le Manach switches out the traditional walnuts in banana bread for pecans.
“I find that pecans give it a richer, almost nuttier flavor,” she says.
She adds chocolate chips to the batter before giving it one last mix. We love to sprinkle a couple more chocolate chips on top right before your pan goes into the over for that extra chocolate-y goodness.
Of course, you can add whatever type of nuts or chocolate you like to your banana bread, but we’re with the chef when we say: simply enjoy both. Watch the video and check the full recipe for Beth’s Ultimate Banana Bread below.
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- 4 overly-ripe, mashed bananas
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup of canola oil
- ¼ cup of water
- ½ cup of sugar (can be upped to ¾ cup if you have a sweet tooth)
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- 2 ½ cups of flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ cup of bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- ½ cup of Pecans or Walnuts
- 9’’ x 5’’ loaf pan
- Potato masher (although a fork works fine too!)
- Preheat over to 350ºF. Spray a 9’’ x 5’’ loaf pan with spray.
- In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda) and set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix wet ingredients (mashed bananas, eggs, canola oil, water, sugar, vanilla) until well combined.
- Combine the dry into the wet, mixing in ⅓ of the mixture at a time. Be careful not to over mix!
- Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts.
- Pour into a loaf pan.
- Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Slice into thick slices and serve.
Note: If bread starts to brown too much at the top but the toothpick is still showing raw batter, cover with foil and continue to bake until cooked through.
Check out more of Beth’s recipes here.
Photography by: YouTube video