a homemade life’s banana bread

Have you read “A Homemade Life” yet?  If you haven’t, add it to your Amazon wish list and buy it as soon as you can.  I have been slowly enjoying Molly Wizenberg’s memoir over the past few months and I am just one chapter away from the end.  I almost don’t think that I can explain how truly lovely and beautiful this book is.  Molly has filled her book with stories and memories of her father, how she met her vinegar-loving husband through her blog Orangette, getting her heart broken in Paris and everything in between.  At the end of each story is a recipe or two inspired by the story.  They range from her father Burg’s potato salad to Little Corn Cakes w/ Bacon, Tomato and Avocado which she served at her wedding.  I have many recipes tabbed and listed in my “must make this as soon as possible” list.  

As soon as I read the name of “Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger” I knew that I needed to make it for my ginger-loving fiend of a boyfriend.  I wouldn’t have ever thought to put little chunks of crystallized ginger into a quick bread but it is fantastic.  This is a denser banana bread than the uber-moist variety that I have been making on a regular basis but it is very good.  I took Molly’s suggestion of freezing the loaf after we have enjoyed a few slices and eating it cold, straight from the freezer.  I almost like it better this way.  I hope you try it because this recipe is a keeper.  The best part about going back to a tabbed recipe in the book is that it gives you an excuse to re-read the chapter leading up to it, and remember the lovely story that made you want to try the recipe in the first place.  Buy this book.  You will enjoy it many, many times over.

Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger
From “A Homemade Life” p. 26 by Molly Wizenberg

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 (or a chopped up bar)
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 large eggs
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup well-stirred whole-milk plain yogurt (not low or nonfat)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Set a rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 350F. Grease a 9 by 5 loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.

In a small bowl, microwave the butter until just melted. (Be careful and do this over medium power in short burst because it can explode or splatter and that is a big mess.) Or melt it in the preheating oven. Set aside to cool slightly.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Add the chocolate chips and crystallized ginger and whisk well to combine. Set aside.

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.

Bake into 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.

Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 mins. Then tip out onto the rack, and let it cool completely before slicing (if you can wait that long).

The loaf freezes well wrapped in plastic wrap and again in foil to protect from freezer burn. Try it cold, sliced fresh out of the freezer with a glass of milk or a cup of tea. Divine.

27 responses to “a homemade life’s banana bread

  1. Whitney – You and I are on the same page! I made this bread this weekend. In fact, I’ve been eating a piece each night this week for dessert. 🙂 And, I finished the book this weekend too. LOVE. I really enjoyed the density of the bread, but actually substituted white whole wheat flour for the all-purpose and turbinado sugar for the white. And I didn’t have crystalized ginger, just dry. With all of those substitutions it was still DELICIOUS. My only complaint is that the chocolate overpowers the banana a bit too much, so I might decrease the chips to 1/2 cup next time. I’m also a banana fanatic, so I REALLY like to taste the banana in my bread. 🙂

    Beautiful photos! I love the bowl-full of chocolate and ginger.

  2. I’m reading this book right now too! I’m almost at the end and I love it! I haven’t tried any of the recipes yet but the banana bread sounds like a terrific one. Yours looks perfect!

  3. I love Molly Wizenberg and her banana bread. SO SO good! Your loaf looks great 🙂 Have you tried her radish, salt, butter, and baguette idea? Sounds strange, but it was suprisingly lovely.

  4. I love it. New recipes and a new book!!!

    Thank you!


  5. I LOVED this bread, and I doubled the recipe last time, so that I could freeze a loaf and sneak pieces at my leisure. Also devoured Molly’s book. I was almost sad when it was finished, and I hope that she writes another in the future! I went to her book signing in San Francisco a few months ago, and she was so sweet and charming.

  6. I’ve read the book, but haven’t made anything from it. I’m going to have to try this recipe. It looks fabulous.

  7. That was the first recipe I tried from the book! Isn’t it divine…very different than the banana breads I’m used to, but lovely. Such a good read. Love your blog….that picture of the ginger in the chocolate is making me drool.

  8. Thanks for a great post, this looks fantastic.

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  10. Andrea-I do agree on the lack of banana flavor thing but I don’t ever think too much chocolate is a bad thing 🙂 Thanks for the photo compliments. So when you making it out to Chicago??

    I did try the radishes, bread and butter thing and it is good. And a month ago I don’t think I even liked radishes!

    I’m glad that everyone has love for Molly’s book. It is so fantastic. I am going to make her pickled carrots this weekend!

  11. beautiful! this recipe sounds so good – we love ginger, so this needs to be put on my “to bake list” soon!

  12. wow thanks for posting this..i am sooo gonna make it as i love bananas and am always looking for new recipes..cant wait yum!

  13. These pictures are amazing! I saw this recipe in her book and wanted to make it.

  14. I couldn’t agree more about Molly’s book – so wonderful and inspiring. She is a big lover of banana bread, that’s for sure, and your re-creation of this looks wonderful!

  15. I love her book! I began reading it and then put it away because it was so good, I didn’t want it to get over. I made her chocolate cupcakes a while ago. Loved them as well! I want to try her banana bread recipe as well. The addition of ginger is intriguing.

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  17. So I have blogged many times about Orangette, recommending her book and trying her recipes. I actually just posted about her oven roasted tomatoes. Don’t you just love her book?!

  18. Holy crumb, I NEED to try that.

  19. oneordinaryday

    I really enjoyed this book too, but didn’t get to make any of the recipes. I’d borrowed it from the library and didn’t get time to bake from it. : (
    Your bread turned out great!

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  23. Wow, awesome blog site layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is excellent, as well as the content! prawo jazdy kraków

  24. Tres tres bon article. J’ai beaucoup apris. Merci beaucoup 🙂

  25. Pingback: Nice Banana Bread Recipe photos | Ultimate Banana Bread Recipe Info

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  27. Very nice recipe.

    I also like the below banana bread recipe. 🙂



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