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Sourdough Banana Bread

Banana bread is one of the most classic baked goods. It is sweet, flavorful, and somehow comforting. Although I love making sourdough bread, I can only make so much of it and sometimes need to use up some of my sourdough starter discard. When I realized I had some overripe bananas sitting on my counter that no one wanted to eat I decided I needed to make a sourdough banana bread recipe.  

Why I Love this Sourdough Discard Banana Bread

First of all, it’s a great way to use extra sourdough discard and overripe bananas. I REALLY hate wasting food (especially produce). I also love that this recipe contains a generous amount of vanilla extract to compliment the banana flavor. Traditional banana bread doesn’t often contain as much vanilla as I included here but I really think it adds a lot of flavor (especially since there is no cinnamon in this banana bread). I also added chopped pecans for a nutty contrast to the sweet flavors, but you can also add chocolate chips, or leave it as is. Finally, this banana bread has a perfect texture and a fluffy top, which is something I always strive for (check out the rise on this pumpkin sourdough bread recipe).

Sliced sourdough banana bread on a serving dish. The end slice has a bite taken out of it and a pat of butter on it.

​Equipment

​You need only a few things to make this discard banana bread:

  • A medium bowl
  • A whisk or fork
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • A rubber spatula
  • A stand mixer or hand mixer
  • A loaf pan (I use this 1 pound loaf pan)
  • Parchment paper (optional)

Ingredients

Flour: Use all purpose flour for this recipe or substitute 1/2 cup of whole wheat flour (ideally whole wheat pastry flour) for the regular white flour. 

Salt: Iodized salt, kosher salt or sea salt is fine. 

Baking Powder

Baking Soda

Butter: Regular banana bread recipes usually call for either oil (like coconut oil or vegetable oil) or butter. I personally love the flavor that real butter adds to banana bread and so that is what I chose to use as the fat for this banana bread. This recipe calls for unsalted butter but I have never had a problem using salted butter if that is all I had. It really just makes it more flavorful. Many banana bread recipes call for melted butter but I found that creaming the butter with the sugars creates a better consistency. 

Sugar: I use both brown sugar and white sugar because I like the texture the combination adds to this recipe. 

Overripe Bananas: You want VERY overripe bananas. Mostly black bananas work well as long as they are not moldy (that’s a little too ripe!). If your bananas are completely yellow without any spots, I would wait a few days before making this recipe. 

Vanilla Extract: I recommend pure vanilla extract because it has better flavor than imitation vanilla. 

Sourdough Starter: You can use active sourdough starter or sourdough discard. Active starter might make the bread rise slightly more but the main leavening action comes from the baking powder and baking soda. 

Sourdough banana bread ingredients measured out in individual bowls and measuring cups.

How to Make

Preheat your oven to 375F and line your loaf pan with parchment paper. Give the pan a good spray of cooking spray as well to help prevent it from sticking. 

Whisk the dry ingredients in a separate medium bowl. 

Cream the butter with the sugars in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer. 

Add the bananas, vanilla, and sourdough starter. 

Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over-mix or the bread will develop too much gluten and become dense. 

If you are adding chocolate chips or nuts, add them now. I like to use a rubber spatula to mix them in because it’s easier to evenly incorporate them without over-mixing the batter. 

​Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and use a rubber spatula to smooth the top. 

This is a grid of 4 pictures. The top left depicts dry ingredients being whisked with a fork in a medium bowl. The upper right shows wet ingredients mixed together in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. The bottom left shows the finished batter with pecans being stirred in with a wooden spoon. The bottom right shows the batter in a 9x5 inch loaf pan and a wooden spoon next to it that was used to smooth the top.

Bake the bread for about an hour, then check with a toothpick. If it does not come out clean, add 5 minutes and check it again. I live at high altitude so it typically takes 10-15 minutes longer for my quick breads to finish baking. When finished, the top of the bread will be a beautiful golden brown color. If you notice the top is starting to get overly brown, you can cover it with aluminum foil while it finishes baking. 

Baked sourdough banana bread in loaf pan.

Variations:

The two most common variations for banana bread is for banana nut bread or chocolate chip banana bread. If you prefer these variations, you can add 1 cup of add-ins to the batter before pouring it into the pan (but don’t use 1 cup of both or it will result in too much batter for the pan).

  • Chopped pecans or walnuts
  • Chocolate chips (dark chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips) 

How to Serve

This banana bread is great served cold or room temperature, or you can heat a slice in the microwave for 10 seconds and spread some butter on top. 

sourdough banana bread with a slice cut off and a pat of butter placed on the slice.

How to Store

Store this bread covered with plastic wrap or in an airtight container. It can sit at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for 5-7 days. 

How to Freeze

To freeze the bread, allow it to cool completely, then slice the bread to your desired thickness. Place a small square of parchment paper between each slice, then place in a gallon sized freezer bag and freeze. For best results, use within 3 months. 

Can I Make this Bread Vegan?

I have not tried modifying this recipe for a vegan sourdough banana bread vegan yet but I intend to try it. If you make this vegan, will you let me know how it goes in the comments? In the meantime I do have a vegan traditional banana bread recipe you can try. 

For more sourdough recipes, check out these posts: 

Sourdough Snickerdoodles

Decadent Sourdough Discard Brownies

Sourdough Chocolate Chip Blondies

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sliced sourdough banana bread on a serving dish. The end slice has a bite taken out of it and a pat of butter on it.

Sourdough Banana Bread

This sourdough discard banana bread is super flavorful and has a perfect rise.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Breakfast, brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 318 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Medium Mixing Bowl
  • 1 fork or whisk
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • 1 stand mixer or hand mixer
  • 1 wooden spoon or rubber spatula
  • 1 9×5 inch loaf pan
  • Parchment Paper

Ingredients
 
 

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda

Wet Ingredients

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature (8 tablespoons)
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1⅓ cup overripe bananas, mashed with fork (about 3 medium bananas)
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sourdough discard

Add-Ins

  • 1 cup chopped pecans or chocolate chips (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 375℉.
  • Line a 1 pound (9×5 inch) loaf pan with parchment paper or grease with butter.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  • Add the banana, eggs, vanilla, and sourdough discard to the mixer and continue to mix until fully combined.
  • With the mixer set to low speed, slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  • Stir in the pecans or chocolate chips with a rubber spatula if using.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top with a rubber spatula.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool before cutting the loaf into 1 inch slices.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 318kcalCarbohydrates: 45gProtein: 4gFat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 20mgSodium: 258mgPotassium: 144mgFiber: 2gSugar: 24gVitamin A: 252IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 44mgIron: 1mg
Keyword Banana, Quick Bread, Sourdough, Sourdough Discard
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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