Molly Wizenberg, creator of the blog Orangette and author of the book A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes From My Kitchen Table, has a way of elevating ordinary foods into must-make, extraordinary foods. I’ve baked lots of banana breads in my day, so it must have been the power of Molly’s poetic prose and genuine enthusiasm that got me so stoked about preparing this one. Dotted with bits of crystallized ginger and shards of bittersweet chocolate, this banana bread makes for a decadent breakfast or an effective afternoon pick-me-up. [I also highly recommend Molly’s Bouchons au Thon.]
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
- 1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (from about 3 large ripe bananas)
- 1/4 cup well-stirred whole-milk plain yogurt (not low fat or nonfat)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Set a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a standard-sized loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.
In a small bowl, microwave butter until just melted. (Take care to do this on medium power and in short bursts; if the heat is too high, butter will sometimes splatter or explode. Or, alternately, put the butter in a heatproof bowl and melt in the preheated oven.) Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and crystallized ginger and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
In a medium bowl, lightly beat the eggs with a fork. Add the mashed banana, yogurt, melted butter, and vanilla and stir to mix well.
Pour the banana mixture into the dry ingredients, and stir gently with a rubber spatula, scraping down the sides as needed, until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy, but there should be no unincorporated flour. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top.
Bake until the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour. If the loaf seems to be browning too quickly, tent with aluminum foil.
Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then tip it out onto the rack, and let it cool completely before slicing.
Yields about 8 servings. [For Printable Recipe Click Here]