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Sourdough Banana Bread with Butter Crumbs

Sourdough Banana Bread

Banana bread is just not quite as good in this baker’s opinion, without the crumbs on top. I find that true for most tea breads and muffins too. There is just something about the crumbs that makes people say, “Wow!” In the past, my boys wanted me to make a loaf of  just “crumbs.” I think that is like eating the icing without the cake….

Sourdough Banana Bread is moist and delicious. You can add walnuts if you like, I like walnuts, but it seems I am the only one, so my bread is walnut-less (see Instagram photo at the bottom of the page).

You can also substitute pumpkin puree and make pumpkin bread, but I would add more spices then. If I had my way, I would not only add walnuts to the batter but I would put chopped walnuts in the crumbs as well…. yum! Ah well…

Sourdough Banana Bread with Butter Crumbs

Makes two loaves 9″ x 3″ x 5″ pans. 

Wet ingredients- Mix in a medium mixing bowl:

  • 13 oz/368 g- Sourdough Starter @ 100% hydration
  • 10 oz/283 g- full fat milk (or use canned milk or a milk substitute)
  • 11 oz/311 g- (about two large bananas or three small) Pureed/mashed very ripe bananas 
  • 8  oz/226 g sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 5 oz/113 g oil or melted butter
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla extract

Mix above ingredients very well using a mixing whip.
Next …
Dry ingredients-Mix in a separate medium sized mixing bowl:

  • 20 oz/566 g All Purpose flour
  • .5/14 g oz salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Tablespoon baking powder

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until the two are incorporated. Fill the baking tins about 7/8 full and spread crumbs on top, pressing some of the crumbs into the batter.

Butter Crumbs:

  • 4 oz/113 g sugar
  • 5 oz/141 g AP flour
  • 4 oz/113 g oz butter

Using your hands, rub the butter and dry ingredients together, until you can press the mixture together in your hands and form some large lumps. Spread these crumbs on top of your banana bread batter, pressing some of the crumbs into the batter, especially around the edges of the pan ( I poke some of the crumbs right down into the batter with a spoon or knife). Pour into an oiled loaf pan. Fill to about 7/8 full.
Bake @ 350F for 50-60 minutes or until a knife blade comes out clean when pushed into the center of the bread. The knife test is more important than the amount of baking time. 

Sourdough Banana Bread in pan
This recipe will make two loaves and uses less sugar and fat as a regular loaf, so if you like sweet bread, you may want to add double the amount of sugar.

Optionally add chopped walnuts, raisins, figs or other chopped dried fruit (will make more batter if you add extras).

Finished Sourdough Banana Bread

Sliced Sourdough Banana Bread


Yummy Banana Bread…. with Butter Crumbs!  Have fun baking… I always do, Teresa
Sourdough Banana Bread with dates and walnuts added:

Edited to add:

Oldie but Goodie Discount offer on Sourdough Bread Baking for Breakfast Course.  This course has lots of good things for breakfast including a cornbread with butter crumbs, similar to the banana bread above. Click the link to see what else is baking in the course.





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  1. GingerMGingerM
    April 27, 2017    

    I am really surprised that nobody else expressed confusion/frustration with the variety of measurements. I struggled with metric/standard/dry measures/liquid measures, weighing ingredients, etc. My end result is a bread with a nice texture (and moist) but very bland. No problems with it rising. The topping doesn’t look anything like the photo, and not much taste. It was more “powdery” than crumbs. I am assuming I didn’t use the correct amount of dry ingred- and as a result needed to add more butter.

    All in all, a little disappointing, but I’ll try again soon and see if I have better luck next time.

    • April 28, 2017    

      So sorry you had trouble Ginger. This is one of the favorite recipes of all time here on NWSD. I am guessing perhaps you tried to convert to cup measures? I tried to have it in both standard and metric to appeal to more people. The reason I used Tablespoons and teaspoon measurements is because standard measurements don’t measure that low usually. If you’r crumbs were too dry then you would need to add more butter. Also I use about half the amount of sugar that most banana bread recipes call for, so if you are used to a cake like banana bread and like things sweeter, then you might need to add more sugar.

  2. Dianna WilsonDianna Wilson
    May 24, 2016    

    Absolutely the BEST banana bread I have ever made! My friends and family can’t get enough. What a wonderful way to use up the built up of starter! Thank you for my go to recipes and sharing the love!

    • May 26, 2016    

      Thank you Dianna! You’re welcome! My family loves this formula too. It’s my go to for other breads as well, I can just substitute applesauce or pumpkin puree, change the spices a bit and have a delicious new bread.

  3. DiannaDianna
    May 10, 2016    

    Can I use bread flour and if so do I need to adjust amount? Thanks! LOVE your videoes. The BEST on You Tube! 🙂

    • May 10, 2016    

      Hi Dianna, technically, you can use bread flour, but it isn’t the best flour for a cake like bread. A bread flour will make your banana bread tougher. So if you can get ap flour you should do so. If not, go ahead and use what you have but make really sure to stir the batter as little as possible.

  4. JenniferJennifer
    May 6, 2016    

    Should the sourdough starter be active or should I use it straight out of the ridge?

    • JenniferJennifer
      May 6, 2016    


      • May 10, 2016    

        It’s better active, but you can use it out of the fridge or use discard if you want to since it isn’t used for leavening.

  5. Erin KokindaErin Kokinda
    March 13, 2014    

    I was so excited to try this recipe, especially with the crumb topping. I baked as the recipe directed, and added the crumb topping. Mine looked nothing like the picture above. It sank to the bottom of the pan when baking. Not only did I have this reaction, but my mother also had the same thing happen when she baked hers. I don’t know how to fix it, any suggestions?

    • northwestsourdoughnorthwestsourdough
      March 15, 2014    

      Hi Erin, I’ve made this recipe for years and it’s been baked by lots of other baker’s. I’ve never heard of the crumbs sinking to the bottom so I have no idea what is going on for you.

      • Erin KokindaErin Kokinda
        March 21, 2014    

        I guess I will have to try it again. The crumb topping was really mushy, not like the picture. It looked almost like really wet play sand. I knew it would just melt into the bread when I started cooking it. I think next time I will try a different crumb topping, and more sugar to my bread…I like it sweet. Any other opinions, are greatly appreciated, I love banana bread.

        • April 28, 2017    

          It helps if you press the crumbs with some pressure in your hands, that will make the crumbs bigger.

  6. tonyktonyk
    August 22, 2013    



  7. tonyktonyk
    August 22, 2013    




  8. DanaDana
    June 19, 2013    

    Hi Teresa! May I have your permission to pin your Sour Dough Banana Bread on my Pinterest board, Banana Bread Basket,
    found here…http://pinterest.com/dorana1/banana-bread-basket/
    I will look forward to your reply! Thanks so much!

  9. JanetanJanetan
    January 9, 2013    

    Hi Teresa,
    I’m glad that i found your blog. Because in Malaysia, can be said very few people know about sourdough and bake with sourdough too. It is due to my children’s health i choose sourdough bread and i learned about it since last year. there are many error but it brings the success along. oh, about this recipe of yours, I’m totally love it, because the texture and the fuss free method. this will be my Bake-Frequently recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  10. December 27, 2012    

    This banana bread looks delicious! I love making sourdough banana bread, but the crumbs on top are definitely calling to me! 🙂

  11. TomTom
    December 13, 2012    

    What kind of pans are those? Sheesh….I need baking utensils!

  12. December 8, 2012    

    I love the cover of crumbs on this bread. Looks like snow… or thatch. Perfect for the season! The bread must be just divine and completely addictive. Wonderful!

  13. December 4, 2012    

    i love the look of this recipe..how serendipitous that i have some bananas languishing..jane

  14. December 4, 2012    

    Wow. I think I’ll be trying this first thing TOMORROW. However, I like it with not only walnuts, but also chocolate chips. ;-P

    • northwestsourdoughnorthwestsourdough
      December 4, 2012    

      Oh yea! Right on with the chocolate chips. I have made Banana bread with chocolate chips before and I loved it. Thanks for the reminder!

  15. NeelaNeela
    December 4, 2012    

    Why do you scald the milk?

    • northwestsourdoughnorthwestsourdough
      December 4, 2012    

      Hi Neela, pasturized milk still has enzymes in it that can interfere with bread baking. You can use canned milk or dry reconstituted milk without scalding, but regular milk should be scalded.

  16. greggreg
    December 4, 2012    

    I know what my next project is going to be

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