Soft, moist, and chocolatey. This sourdough chocolate banana bread has double chocolate flavors makes great use of your discard starter.
Sourdough banana bread is such a simple and delicious way to use up sourdough discard starter.
This chocolate version has double chocolate notes, with both cocoa powder and chocolate chips.
The discard starter
The sourdough starter used in this sourdough chocolate banana bread can be one that has been recently fed and is thick and bubbly or a sourdough starter discard that hasn't been recently fed.
The best results are with a discard starter that is acidic as this gives a more tender banana bread. An acidic starter will likely be runny. It will have peaked and collapsed a while ago so it won't be fluffy or airy.
A starter like this isn't good for sourdough bread but it's great in discard recipes.
The best bananas for this recipe are those that are over-ripe. This is when they are the sweetest and it also means they will mash up the easiest.
Under-ripe bananas will be difficult to mash and totally underwhelming in flavor.
This chocolate banana bread can be baked in an 8x4inch/21x11cm loaf tin or in a larger 9x5inch/23x13cm loaf tin.
The large tin will make a loaf that is less high, but the cooking time will be reduced.
The ingredients amounts are listed in the recipe card below but here is a run-through of them with a few extra details.
- Bananas - extra-ripe bananas are best. They provide sweetness and flavor in the recipe as well as adding moisture to the bread. This recipe needs two large extra-ripe bananas or 3 medium.
- Soft brown sugar - the caramel flavor of the brown sugar compliments the banana. Brown sugar also brings moisture to the sourdough chocolate loaf.
- Eggs and butter - the eggs provide the structure and melted butter adds flavor and a texture.
- Vanilla extract - a complimentary flavor to the banana.
- Cocoa powder - You can use dutch-processed cocoa powder or natural cocoa powder.
- Sourdough starter- discard starter gives the best results in this recipe as it contains more acid which makes for a more tender loaf.
- All-purpose flour, baking soda and salt - the structure and rising agents needed in the sourdough banana loaf.
- Chocolate chips - these bring extra chocolate flavor. Some are mixed in the batter and some are sprinkled on top of the unbaked loaf.
Additions and substitutions
- Nuts or seeds- add chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds to the batter for extra texture. Swap them with seeds in case of nut allergies, such as pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
- Sugar - Brown sugar brings the most moisture to this banana loaf but in case you don't have it, you can substitute the soft brown sugar with white sugar, coconut sugar, honey or maple syrup.
- Butter - substitute butter with melted coconut oil.
- All-purpose flour - substitute the all purpose flour in this recipe for spelt flour or half and half with whole wheat flour.
Overnight sourdough banana bread
This is a quick bread recipe that can be made in under an hour.
However, if you want the sourdough starter to ferment the flour, the batter can be rested in the refrigerator for 6hours or overnight.
Step by step instructions
Preheat the oven to 356°F/180°C regular oven or 320°F/160°C fan-bake.
Grease or line a loaf pan with parchment paper.
Melt the butter and let it cool slightly.
In a bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt
In a separate large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, then stir in the butter. Add in the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and sourdough starter and stir it well together until all combined.
Tip the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold them together until well combined but not overmixed. Stir in the chocolate chips but reserve a small handful.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin and sprinkle over the reserved chocolate chips.
Bake for approximately 50-60 minutes. It’s hard to check the doneness of this loaf with a skewer because the chocolate chips melt, so just ensure the top springs back when pressed.
Remove the baked banana bread from the tin and let it cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
Serving and storing
Serve the banana bread fresh while still warm from the oven. The leftover sourdough banana loaf can be covered and stored at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Banana bread freezes very well too so this recipe could be doubled or tripled and extra loaves can be frozen.
Cover the cooled bread tightly with foil or in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months. Let it defrost at room temperature and slices can be warmed in the toaster or microwave.
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- 100g unsalted butter
- 3 medium or 2 large over-ripe bananas
- 150g soft brown sugar
- 100g sourdough discard starter
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 190g all-purpose flour
- 25g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 100g chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F.
- Grease or line an 8x4 inch / 21x11 cm or a 9x5 inch / 23x13 cm loaf pan.
- Melt the butter and let it cool slightly.
- In a bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt
- In a separate large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork, then stir in the butter. Add in the brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and sourdough starter and stir it well together until all combined.
- Tip the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and fold them together until well combined but not overmixed. Stir in the chocolate chips but reserve a small handful.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin. Sprinkle over the reserved chocolate chips.
- Bake for approximately 50-60 minutes. It’s hard to check the doneness of this loaf with a skewer because the chocolate chips melt, so just ensure the top springs back when pressed.
- Remove the baked banana bread from the tin and let it cool for 20 minutes before slicing.
The leftover sourdough banana loaf can be covered and stored at room temperature for 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Freezer instructions - Wrap the loaf tightly and freeze for up to three months.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 324Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 59mgSodium: 324mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 3gSugar: 24gProtein: 6g