Recipe: Banana Bread with Chocolate

To me the taste of fall is found strongly in sweet breads- dense and wonderful loaves of pumpkin or zucchini or banana. The smell of them baking in the oven can make a house into a home.

This banana bread recipe is one that Betony often makes come autumn. And the warmth of a slice provides great contrast against the continuing crisping days of September. Enjoy.

Makes 1 loaf

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
3 large ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup well-stirred whole-milk plain yogurt
(not low or nonfat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Set a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350F.
Grease a 9-by 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.
2. Melt the butter on the stove or in a microwave and set aside to cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and whisk well to combine. Set aside.
4. 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 with be thick and somewhat lumpy, just make sure all the flour has been incorporated. Scrape the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top.
5. Bake until the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 mins to an hour. If the loaf seems to be browning too quickly, tent with foil.
6. Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then tip out onto the rack, and let it cool completely before slicing. The loaf freezes well wrapped in plastic wrap and again in foil to protect from freezer burn. This is great eaten warm out of the oven, but also delicious grilled in a skillet on both sides with some butter. Yum.

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