Banana Bread with Chocolate and Crystallized Ginger
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter
2 cups unbleached 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 chocolate bar)
1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (from about 3 large ripe bananas)
1/4 cup well-stirred whole-milk plain yogurt (not lowfat or nonfat)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350*
Place rack in center as much as you can.
Grease a standard-sized (about 9 x 5 inches) loaf pan with cooking spray or butter.
In a small glass bowl, microwave the butter until just melted. Take care to do this on medium power and in short bursts; if the heat is too high, butter will sometimes splatter or explode or brown. Or, alternatively, put the butter in a heatproof bowl and melt in the preheated 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. (The same fork works fine for this.) 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 over mix. The batter will be thick and somewhat lumpy, but there should be no unincorporated flour. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top.
Bake until the loaf is a deep shade of golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour. If the loaf seems to be browning too quickly, tent with aluminum foil.
Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then tip it out onto the rack, and let it cool completely before slicing–unless you absolutely can’t help yourself, in which case, dig in.