Using your starter: sourdough banana bread

Using your starter: sourdough banana bread

Bananas rarely last long enough in our household for me to make banana bread. More often, they’ve been gobbled up for an after run or after school snack, or I’ve frozen them to be tossed into smoothies. This past week, I bought a bunch of bananas that were particularly enormous, and we didn’t manage to get through them before they got their battered brown freckles. Perfect for banana bread, though I admit I had to hide them away at this point so no one ate them before I could whip this up.

Overripe bananas

The cafe up the street serves a particularly delectable version of this classic, studded with white chocolate and some other magic, but it is really a once-in-a-while treat, more a cake than a bread. I don’t see any reason why a fruit-based bread like this can’t be reasonably nutritious, a quick breakfast on the go that won’t make for a nasty sugar crash 45 minutes after wolfing it down. I like banana bread to be dense, moist, and very banana-y. And of course, I wanted to incorporate some of my sourdough starter, which was threatening to spill out with its next feeding.

This recipe is adapted from the Bestest Banana Bread Ever recipe in Food52’s Baking cookbook. That recipe calls for a bit more sugar, and for butter instead of oil. I’m usually all about butter, but for ease of assembly, oil works a treat, and I like the texture it offers here. I’ve replaced yogurt with starter and adjusted the leavening agent. The result is a super moist, tall, tangy banana bread that is a perfect option for breakfast. It’s delicious toasted on day three; we top it with a dollop of Greek yogurt.

Sourdough banana bread

Sourdough banana bread


  • 4 very ripe bananas
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup mild, neutral tasting oil (I used grapeseed)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup sourdough starter


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Butter a standard loaf pan and set aside. 

  2. If you have a stand mixer, use the paddle attachment to mash the (peeled) bananas. Else, mash with either a potato masher or a large fork.

  3. Add in the egg, vanilla, oil, and sugar, and mix thoroughly.

  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon.

  5. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold the flour mixture into the banana mixture. Don't over mix (there's one more ingredient to come), just fold so that most of the flour is incorporated.

  6. Add in the sourdough starter, and again fold ingredients together. The final batter should look almost marbled.

  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes; test with a toothpick to make sure you get it out at your desired doneness. 

  8. Allow to cool in the pan for a at least ten minutes before gently transferring to a cooling rack. Whatever doesn't get eaten can be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and keeps well for a few days. It's delicious toasted as well.

Do you have a go-to banana bread recipe? Have you adapted it to use your starter?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.