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Sourdough Discard (Or Not) Banana Bread

This easy banana bread is one of the most flexible recipes I make, probably because I’ve been making it for so many years. These days I love adding sourdough discard for a bit of tang, but if you would prefer to make a traditional banana bread you can do that too!

Sourdough banana bread sliced on a wood cutting board

Like the old school baker that I am, I have a physical binder with all my favorite recipes. The pages on some are more worn than others, and nearly every one has my notes scribbled all over it. I’m sure no one besides myself can make sense of it all, which is part of the reason I started sharing what I love to make here on this site.

This banana bread recipe is one of the most worn pages in the binder. I’ve made it countless time and it has been filling my kitchen with heady aromas since before I met my husband. And that my friends, was a long time ago. I won’t tell you how long because in my head I’m still 25 years old. 🙂

Over the years I’ve made this bread many ways, so below I’m going to share my current favorite formula for sourdough discard banana bread. I love the slight tang that the sourdough adds to the bread – honestly when I make it this way I can’t stop eating it. That being said, I will also share the different ratios I’ve tested with delectable results. Ultimately, I suppose this is a choose your own adventure banana bread?

What’s in this Banana Bread?

Ok so here is what goes into my banana bread along with all my notes about the different substitutions I have personally tested.

  • Olive Oil – You will need 1/2 cup. Melted butter also works in the same amount.
    • I have also done 1/4 cup melted butter plus 1/4 cup olive oil.
    • You could also replace 1/4 cup of the oil or butter with applesauce. I usually don’t do this though.
  • Sugar – I like to use 1/2 cup light brown sugar and 1/4 cup white sugar, but you could use all one or the other as long as the total amount is 3/4 cup.
    • Dark brown sugar also works
  • Eggs
  • All Purpose Flour – These days I use 1 1/2 cups AP flour, but you could replace 1/2 cup of it with whole wheat flour.
  • Baking Soda
  • Kosher Salt
  • Bananas – Make sure you use very ripe bananas (they should have lots of brown spots). I usually use 1 cup mashed bananas, which equals about 3 bananas.
    • You could also use 1/2 cup mashed banana with 1 cup of vanilla yogurt. Of course, less banana means less banana flavor.
  • Yogurt – I prefer vanilla yogurt, usually whole or low fat. I haven’t tested non-fat yogurt because I don’t eat it.
    • If you don’t want to use sourdough starter, you will need 1/2 a cup of yogurt.
    • You can also use sour cream instead of the yogurt.
  • Sourdough Discard – I love the slight tanginess this adds to the bread.
    • If using sourdough starter you will need 1/4 cup. The yogurt will be reduced to 1/4 cup.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Nuts or Chocolate – I usually leave these out but my husband likes them. If you want to add chopped walnuts or semisweet chocolate chips you can add up to 1/2 cup of mix-ins total. Add them just before the batter is poured into the pan.

Storing and Freezing

Allow your banana bread to cool completely, then transfer it to an airtight container and store it on the counter. It will keep for up to 3 days. You can also store it in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days.

To freeze your banana bread, let it cool completely and then wrap it in a couple layers of saran wrap before placing it into an airtight, freezer-safe container. I prefer to freeze banana bread whole, but you can also freeze individual slices if each one is wrapped in saran wrap. The frozen bread will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter for several hours.

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Sourdough Discard Banana Bread

This easy banana bread is one of the most flexible recipes I make, probably because I’ve been making it for so many years. These days I love adding sourdough discard for a bit of tang, but if you would prefer to make a traditional banana bread you can do that too.*

  • Author: Rustic Family Recipes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 slices
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup olive oil or melted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
  • 1/4 cup sourdough discard
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Prep your tools. Preheat your oven to 350F and grease a 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan with PAM or your preferred cooking spray. Set aside.

Mix the dry ingredients. In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Mash the banana. In another medium bowl, peel and mash your bananas and then measure 1 cup of mashed banana. Set aside.

Mix wet ingredients. In a large bowl combine the mashed banana, olive oil, sugars, eggs, yogurt, sourdough discard, and vanilla. Mix well.

Add dry ingredients. Spoon the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until no dry bits of batter are left.

Bake. Pour batter in your bread pan and bake until the bread is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. (Test at the 1 hour mark.)

You can also test the bread by gently pressing it with your fingertips. If the bread is done it will spring back, if it needs to bake for longer the indentation made by your fingers will remain.  Be careful as the bread will be hot. 🙂

Cool. Allow the bread to cool for 30 minutes before running a butter knife around the edges if needed, then inverting the pan onto a cooling rack.

Notes

*For directions on how to make this banana bread without sourdough starter please see the ingredients notes in the post. 🙂

Keywords: sourdough banana bread, easy sourdough discard recipe

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