In my constant search to figure out how else I can use my sourdough starter discard (I refuse to throw it away- its liquid gold!) I came across an interesting looking recipe for sourdough banana bread on The Perfect Loaf. The original recipe only made one loaf and in my house that doesn’t fly. If I’m going to the effort to bake something, I almost always double the recipe so I have extra to throw into the freezer for next time. One loaf of banana bread would last exactly 15.7 seconds in my house – give or take a second 🙂 My husband is basically a monkey and LOVES anything with bananas. Sorry honey! ….Maybe it’s more flattering to call him a gorilla? A big manly gorilla!! That’s the one…
So, I adapted the recipe a bit and doubled it to make two loaves. If you only want one loaf (um, whyyyyy?) then go ahead and cut everything in half. But….don’t blame me when the loaf disappears quicker than you can say “banana” and you wish you made two in the first place. Ask me how I know! (cough cough…gorilla!)
Like all banana breads, this one is still a quick bread (no rising, kneading or fermenting), but it uses up your starter discard beautifully and adds a depth of flavor to the bread that I really love. The lemon zest and the cinnamon are both optional but I find that they really add that special something as well.
When mashing the bananas, I like to leave them just a bit chunky for moist yummy pockets of banana in the finished bread. Sometimes I use frozen (and thawed) bananas which, if you’ve ever used frozen bananas in a recipe you know is next to impossible to leave chunky (they are a slimy, liquid-y mess – but so soooo good in banana bread). In that situation, I will add a chopped up fresh banana to the batter in order to create the same effect.
You can have fun with this recipe and switch it up too, If you get a wild hair…you know where. 😀
Add shredded zucchini instead of bananas to make sourdough zucchini bread! Switch out the cinnamon for cardamom. Use chocolate chips instead of, or in addition to, the nuts. Try different flours such as einkorn or whole wheat, spelt, etc. or a combination of these with or without the all-purpose flour.
Sourdough Banana Bread
(Adapted from The Perfect Loaf)
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1.5 cups chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- 1 cup or 2 sticks butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup organic granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon unsulphered molasses
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1.5 cups sourdough starter discard (stirred down)
- 4 tablespoons raw honey
- 5-6 super ripe bananas (depending on the size)
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil or EVOO
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- zest of 1 lemon (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
- Grease (2) 9 x 5 inch loaf pans and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and lemon zest (optional). Whisk together and set aside.
- In another bowl (or a stand mixer) cream butter, sugar, vanilla and molasses together until fluffy.
- Add the eggs, one at a time. Scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Mash your bananas – leaving them a little on the chunky side, then mix in the raw honey.
- Add the sourdough starter, honey & mashed bananas, and oil to the butter mixture.
- Add in the flour mixture slowly, pausing to scrape down the sides if necessary.
- Fold in the nuts, if using.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pans and smooth the top with a spatula.
- Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. It’s better to undercook this than overcook: you want it moist. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes and then gently remove onto a wire rack to thoroughly cool.
P.S. The loaves freeze nicely too! If you can rip them away from your gorilla