Moist, delicious Sourdough Banana Bread studded with chocolate chips & finished with a vanilla glaze. No one will notice the sourdough starter discard!
Got bananas? Going bananas?
So, about those overripe bananas sitting on your counter, or in a baggie in the freezer. Banana Bread is the obvious answer, but tired of it being dry and tasteless?
Want a banana bread recipe that is moist and delicious?
Wait...how about a sourdough discard recipe for banana bread? Two birds and all that...
I've got you covered!
And it gets better. This easy recipe for sourdough banana bread is enhanced with chocolate chips, warm baking spices, and a vanilla glaze. What are you waiting for?
Improving banana bread
What makes this Sourdough Banana Bread recipe better? Using better ingredients!
- Brown sugar increases the bread's moisture and adds an undertone of molasses to give this quick bread a solid foundation.
- Really overripe bananas increases the natural sweetness (and don't be put off by the brown blob below...it's just how bananas look after they've been frozen and defrosted).
- Sour cream and canola oil add richness. If you want, you can cut back on the calories by substituting applesauce for the oil.
- Sourdough starter discard won't be detected (like when making Sourdough Gingerbread or Sourdough Pumpkin Cake), making this quick bread an ideal use for unfed sourdough starter.
- Cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg add a lovely, spicy warmth and layer on the flavor.
- Chocolate chips...need I say more?
- Banana Bread is always better when there's a glaze!
Tips for making Sourdough Banana Bread
Like all quick bread recipes, it's just a matter of whisking the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients separately, then mixing them together.
What if you don't like bananas? It happens...my older daughter studiously avoids them (although she'll really miss out this time!).
I've provided some variations to this banana bread recipe in the Recipe Notes for Sourdough Spice Cake and Sourdough Pumpkin Bread (same as the aforementioned Sourdough Pumpkin Cake, just not in a bundt pan). Explore and have fun with it!
There are some things that will help the process:
- If you're using frozen bananas, they're usually really watery after defrosting. Take some time to drain them well in a fine mesh strainer. That will keep the batter from being overly wet.
- After whisking the dry ingredients together, smash out those larger lumps of brown sugar with a spoon (your hands work, too!).
- Have your sourdough starter discard, egg, and sour cream at room temperature. It helps hold the bread's volume as you mix the batter.
- Try not to overmix the batter...you want the gluten network kept to a minimum.
When making the glaze, add just enough milk so the glaze is smooth and will drip, but won't be too runny.
You can drizzle it on in a pretty pattern, but I choose to cover the breads. More vanilla glaze goodness!
Adjusting quick breads & bundt cakes
A word about the sizing. This recipe will make one extra-large quick bread. But you have choices...I made one large loaf and two smaller loaves.
Most quick bread recipes can be made as bundt cakes, and vice versa. A tip is if the recipe makes one loaf in a standard loaf pan, use a small 6-cup bundt pan or two mini loaf pans. If the recipe makes two loaves (or one extra large loaf like this recipe), use a standard 10- to 12-cup bundt pan, four mini loaf pans, or a standard muffin pan.
You can adjust the recipe (doubling or halving it) to fit the pan(s) you'd like to use. I've given alternative sizing ideas and baking times in the Recipe Notes.
The benefit of having the smaller loaves is that they make great gifts, and they ship well! Just wrap them in wax paper to protect the glaze, then in plastic wrap to keep the bread fresh.
I love having a plethora of sourdough starter discard recipes at hand, and this classic banana bread made better is another example. No one will know that unfed sourdough starter is there, and I promise not to tell!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!
Recipes using sourdough starter discard
When you maintain a sourdough starter, you have a dilemma. What do you do with your unfed sourdough starter discard? I've got lots of suggestions for sweet and savory ways to use your fed sourdough starter and the sourdough starter discard. Here are a few samples...
Sourdough Starter Maintenance
Here's all you need to know about feeding your sourdough starter. Whether you're new to sourdough or just need a refresher, this is the place to start!
Glazed Chocolate Chip Sourdough Banana Bread
For the bread
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- 1 to 1½ cups bananas, ripe, mashed (about 3), see Recipe Notes for Variations
- 1 cup sourdough starter discard, at room temperature
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- ¼ cup canola oil, see Recipe Notes
- ¼ cup sour cream or plain yogurt
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup chocolate chips, optional, see Recipe Notes (6 oz, 170g)
For the glaze (optional)
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 Tbsp milk
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, and spices. If necessary, mash any large lumps of brown sugar.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, combine the bananas, sourdough starter, egg, oil, sour cream, and vanilla. Mix together until everything is fully combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Mix in chocolate chips (if using).
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool the bread in the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then remove it from the pan and allow it to cool completely.
- Prepare the glaze: Sift the powdered sugar into a bowl, then add the melted butter and vanilla extract. Drizzle in 1 tablespoon of the milk and stir. Continue to add milk, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you have a consistency of a smooth, flowing glaze.
- Once the bread has completely cooled, use a spoon to drizzle on the glaze, allowing some to drip down the sides.
- Allow the glaze to set. Slice, serve, and enjoy!
- Full recipe
- One extra large loaf in a standard loaf pan. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes
- One large loaf in a standard loaf pan and two mini loaves using mini loaf pans. Bake the large loaf for 35 to 40 minutes and the mini loaves for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Twelve full-size muffins in a standard muffin pan. Bake for 18 to 23 minutes
- Half recipe