Sourdough Discard: Banana Bread

This recipe is specifically made to be used with sourdough discard.

I have seen so many recipes for banana bread during this pandemic so I figured why not throw in one of my favorites too! My kids absolutely love this banana bread. It is easy to make, uses up some of the sourdough discard I have sitting in my fridge and it tastes really good. What’s not to love?!

One of the keys to a really good banana bread is in the bananas themselves. I buy a lot of bananas. It’s one of the fruits that my kids seem to love eating and we always seem to be picking up another bunch or two of bananas every time we go to the store. Luckily for me, my kids like bananas throughout their differing scales of ripeness. Some love them at the beginning stage of green/yellow. Some love them right in the middle stage of yellow with NO, absolutely NO brown spots and some don’t care that much and will eat them even with those brown spots starting to take over. But no one will eat them in their really, really brown stage where the whole banana has basically turned brown and gooey. This is when I usually peel the bananas, throw them into a ziplock bag and keep them in my freezer until I have enough bananas to make a delicious loaf of banana bread.

The sugars in the over-ripe, brown bananas break down and make for a delicious banana flavor and add sweetness to the loaf of bread. This banana bread has the added benefit of using sourdough discard, and the combination of white and brown sugar give it a deeper flavor than just plain white sugar. If you are looking for a delicious use for your sourdough discard, this is a recipe you will want to make.

Yield: 1 loaf of banana bread

Time: 15 minute mix, 1 hour bake

Ingredients:

  • 3 over-ripened bananas 
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup sourdough discard (about 200 grams)
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾-1 cup chocolate chips/chunks or nuts (optional)

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees and prepare your loaf pan. This recipe works well for an 8 ½ by 4 ½ bread pan or a 9 by 5 bread pan. Any pan smaller than this will most likely overflow. You may also want to line the bottom of your pan with parchment paper to prevent sticking or spray it with cooking spray.
  2. In a bowl, mash the bananas. Add the eggs, white sugar, brown sugar, vanilla extract and vegetable oil. Stir to combine.
  3. Mix in the sourdough discard and stir until just combined.
  4. In a separate bowl (or you can mix it straight in if you don’t like to get multiple bowls dirty) mix in the flour, baking powder, salt and chocolate chips or nuts (if desired). Mix until just incorporated.
  5. Pour the batter into your loaf pan and bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes. Then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for about 50 minutes. Insert a knife into the banana bread to check if it is completely baked through. 
  6. Let the banana bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes before releasing from the pan. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes: This recipe would also work well for banana muffins. Line a muffin tin. Fill your muffins a little over halfway and reduce the baking time to 6 minutes at 425 degrees then 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Have you made banana bread yet during this pandemic? How do you like to eat your bananas? Green-yellow, yellow, yellow-brown or in banana bread? 🙂

Please share this recipe if you enjoyed it! Post a photo and tag me @amybakesbread so I can see your bake 🙂

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Check out more recent sourdough posts:

Hockey-Puck Banana Bread

“Can I bake something, Mom?!” is a common phrase I hear around my house. This time it was from one of my eight-year-old sons. I had some mushy, brown bananas sitting on the counter and thought it would be a great opportunity to use up the ripe bananas and let him bake. 

My kids have always baked with me in the kitchen from a young age. They love dumping ingredients into the mixers, whipping up fresh cream for pancakes (had to put a stop to that one after they used up all my cream, which was supposed to be for a recipe I was intending to make), learning about how to turn on the oven (yes you have to press START or else it doesn’t pre-heat), making breakfast on weekend mornings…the list goes on and on. As a parent I am transitioning with my older kids (ages 10, 8, 8) into a more hands-off approach. I want to let them feel the success that comes with pulling a beautiful loaf of banana bread out of the oven and having the rest of the family ooh, ahh and compliment the chef.

On this particular day I was a little more “hands off” than I normally would be. I was outside chatting with a friend when my son begged to make something and I suggested banana bread. He found the recipe I’d left lying around and as typical eight year old boys do (and let’s face it…busy moms do too), pulled out the ingredients and started mixing them up before re-reading the ingredients and realizing a mistake had been made. Instead of melting the butter he’d put in cold butter…and kept on mixing. 

When I came inside to check on his progress I found a bowl of chunky butter, bananas, sugar, oil and flour ready to be poured into a pan and put into the oven. In an attempt to “save” the banana bread I decided to whip the mixture to get rid of all the butter chunks. As we soon found out, there is a reason you want to GENTLY FOLD the flour into banana bread (or any quickbread) as your last step in the process. Creaming the butter and sugars together as a first step is fine, but once the flour is added…gently fold. When we started whipping the flour it activated the gluten. Instead of the light and airy crumb we love from banana bread, we had inadvertently whipped the bread into a dense, hard and a hockey-puck-like loaf once baked.

Proud boy with his “whipped” batter.

My son, however, was proud as a peacock pouring his mixture into the baking pan and setting a timer to check on it. After the bread was baked we cut into it…and you know what, my three boys gobbled up pieces of that banana bread exclaiming how delicious it was! Compliments were given to the chef and I think my three year old ate 5 slices of bread over the course of a couple days. I may not have been able to stomach a piece of the bread, but I am very grateful for the learning opportunity by giving my boy free reign of the kitchen and mixer. 

Hoping next time his banana bread turns out like this!!!

Baking is a skill. It takes time, effort and desire. I want my kids in the kitchen. I want them to learn how to bake, cook and appreciate where their food comes from. Do you think that if I had made the loaf of banana bread that day we would have learned a lesson about folding in flour to bread? Probably not. Start close to your kids and help them learn how to read, measure and work your kitchen appliances. Gradually release that responsibility to them as they prove themselves capable. Will your kitchen be messy? Almost definitely. Will your kids learn important skills that will stay with them for life? Almost definitely. Teach your kids. It’s worth it!
…even when your banana bread comes out tasting like a brick.