Sourdough Banana Bread

sourdough banana bread

The Spruce / Pete Scherer 

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Yield: 1 loaf

Bananas and sourdough have more in common than you might imagine. Both have a perfect moment in their cycle of ripening and decay, a time period of peak flavor and texture. Most of the time, our plans to use them at this optimal moment work out, but now and then we end up with overripeness. And while this seems like a problem it can also be an opportunity. This sourdough banana bread is best when both the bananas and the starter are past their prime for other uses. Spent sourdough that you'd normally discard and brown, gooey bananas give this quickbread tons of flavor. It is a perfect way to make something delicious from what might otherwise be waste.

This bread is tasty, economical, and easy to boot. There’s no trick to this quickbread—just combine the ingredients in the right order and bake. When you are finished, this banana bread will make a great snack, bake sale item, or breakfast or brunch treat. Try putting ice cream between two toasted slices for a killer dessert sandwich, or simply serve with butter or cream cheese for afternoon tea.


  • 1 large very ripe banana (about 140 grams)
  • 130 grams sugar
  • 140 grams cold discard sourdough starter
  • 30 grams olive oil
  • 20 grams butter (melted)
  • 10 grams blackstrap molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 75 grams bread flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 60 grams walnuts pieces

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  2. Add the banana and sugar to a large mixing bowl and mash them together with a fork or a whisk. It's okay if there are some small chunks, the banana doesn't need to be puréed.

  3. Add the sourdough starter, olive oil, butter, molasses, egg, vanilla, and cinnamon. Whisk to combine. You can use an electric mixer if you like, but whisking by hand will easily do the job.

  4. In a separate bowl, combine the bread flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix well.

  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and whisk until mostly combined, then add the walnuts. Stir a few more times to distribute.

  6. Butter and lightly flour a 8 x 4-inch loaf pan. Add the batter and spread to level the top. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the temperature at the center of the loaf reaches 200 F.

  7. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan before turning out onto a cooling rack. Let cool completely before serving.


  • Store in an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to four days.

Recipe Variation

  • Replace the egg with egg replacer or aquafaba and use only oil and no butter for a vegan version.