Sourdough Banana Bread | Mel’s Kitchen Cafe


This sourdough banana bread is next level delicious with an intensely soft sturdy crumb. The recipe works great with discard or fed starter.

Make room in your heart for another banana bread recipe.

With a uniquely soft texture, this sourdough banana bread is absolutely the most incredible banana bread ever.

side view of three slices of sourdough banana bread

Let’s Talk About Sourdough for a Minute

The sourdough in this recipe contributes to overall flavor without screaming: I AM SOURDOUGH, HEAR ME ROAR. In fact, if you ate a piece of this bread without knowing any details, I’m almost positive you wouldn’t peg it as a sourdough recipe at all.

However, where the sourdough absolutely shines is in the lusciously soft texture that is unlike any other banana bread I’ve ever had.

You guys, this bread is so incredibly delicious.

I use a 1:1:1 sourdough starter. The consistency is thick but runny. This recipe works well using discard or fed sourdough starter.

sourdough discard in plastic bucket

Banana Bread Batter

This one-bowl banana bread batter is very straightforward.

Mix the wet ingredients:

  • neutral-flavored oil
  • brown sugar + granulated sugar
  • mashed bananas
  • sourdough starter (fed or discard)
  • eggs
  • vanilla

And then stir in the dry ingredients:

  • flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
  • baking powder + baking soda + salt
  • ground cinnamon

A Substantial Loaf

This recipe makes one large loaf of banana bread. Which means!! —> Don’t try shoving the batter into a smaller loaf pan. You’ll be sad and so will your oven when things go awry and start over flowing into bubbling, burning carnage.

*Use a 9X5-inch loaf pan*

If you only have smaller loaf pans (like an 8 1/2 X 4 1/2-inch size), fill the pan slightly more than 2/3 full and use the rest of the batter for mini loaves or a few muffins.

Read the note in the recipe below for high elevation baking where batter tends to rise faster and sometimes overflow!

I have made this bread at least a dozen times and while the loaf pan is full, it has never overflowed (I live at about 2,500 feet elevation). It domes up beautifully while baking.

loaf of baked banana bread in loaf pan

A Tried-and-True Banana Bread Recipe

I am so excited for you to try this recipe.

If you don’t have a sourdough starter, beg, steal or borrow until you do! I promise this bread is worth it.

I’ve added *a few* chocolate chips with good results. Baked in mini loaf pans with good results. Doubled and tripled the recipe with good results. Delegated the making of to the children with good results.

It’s just one of those amazing and soul-fulfilling recipes I can’t envision my life without. Long live sourdough banana bread. 💗

two halves of banana bread stacked on top of full slice on white plate

One Year Ago: Butterscotch Rice Krispie Treats 
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two halves of banana bread on top of full slice on white plate

Sourdough Banana Bread

  • 1 ½ cups (350 g) mashed bananas (about 3 medium bananas)
  • ½ cup (140 g) sourdough starter, fed or discard
  • ½ cup (100 g) neutral-flavored oil (see note)
  • ½ cup (106 g) packed light brown sugar
  • ½ cup (106 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 large (100 g out of shell) eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups (249 g) all-purpose or whole wheat flour (see note if using whole wheat)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9X5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray (I cut a strip of parchment paper and line the bottom and two long sides). Set aside.

  • In a large bowl, whisk together the bananas, sourdough starter, oil, brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg and vanilla until very well-combined.

  • Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix with a rubber spatula until just combined and no dry streaks remain. Don’t over mix.

  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes until the top springs back lightly to the touch and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

  • Remove the bread from the pan and let cool on a wire rack.

Pan Size: this recipe makes too much batter for a smaller 8 1/2 X 4 1/2-inch loaf pan, so make sure the pan is 9X5-inches. (For high elevation baking where batter can rise quicker and sometimes overflow, you might want to reserve some of the batter and bake in a mini loaf pan or 2-3 muffins. I live at 2,500 feet and this bread does not overflow in the oven, but I haven’t tested it at high elevation). 
Oil: use a neutral-flavored oil like canola, vegetable, grapeseed, melted coconut oil (refined coconut oil doesn’t have a strong coconut flavor) or other oil without a strong flavor profile. I haven’t tried subbing part of the oil with applesauce, but you can experiment. You can also use melted butter. If doing so, decrease the salt by 1/4 teaspoon. In my testing, the bread rises less well when using melted butter and the crumb has a slightly greasier texture. For that reason, I prefer using oil.
Whole Wheat: when using whole wheat flour in this recipe, I recommend using white whole wheat (hard or soft wheat) – or a wheat berry or flour like kamut or einkhorn. Those varieties are less dense and dark than using red whole wheat. 

Serving: 1 slice, Calories: 255kcal, Carbohydrates: 38g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 31mg, Sodium: 287mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 20g

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