How to make banana bread
The best banana bread recipe
With its slightly sweet flavor and moist texture, it’s difficult to believe banana bread is so simple to make. No fancy appliances are needed, and your batter can be in the oven in mere minutes. Despite the seemingly straightforward process, a few common mistakes often occur when making banana bread.
What to consider when making banana bread
How ripe should bananas be for banana bread?
If you’ve never made banana bread, it might be surprising to learn how ripe bananas need to be. Bananas should be black and brown and there’s no such thing as it being overripe when it comes to making banana bread. Bananas become sweeter the longer they’re allowed to ripen, which is why overly ripe bananas need to be used. It creates an amazing flavor. Using bananas that aren’t quite ready will result in banana bread that lacks a little flavor and sweetness. But it will still be good.
How to ripen bananas
If ripe bananas aren’t available, it is possible to speed up the process, so it is ready. A natural way to ripen a banana is by putting it in a paper bag with another fruit that produces high amounts of ethylene, like an apple. After folding up the bag, the ethylene will encourage the banana to ripen. This will take between one to three days.
If you want your bananas to be ripe immediately, use the oven. Put them on a baking sheet and bake them in a 300-degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until black. More or less time may be needed, depending on the ripeness of the bananas. Let the bananas cool before mashing and adding to the batter.
Can I freeze bananas?
Freezing overly ripe bananas instead of throwing them away is a great way to build up a stash for future banana making. When you have enough for a loaf of banana bread, take out the frozen bananas and let them thaw at room temperature. The bananas will be a little watery but will work perfectly fine.
Can I freeze banana bread?
Leftover banana bread can be frozen, or a loaf can be made to keep in the freezer. Tightly wrap the loaf in several layers of plastic wrap and aluminum foil. This keeps all the moisture in the bread. Then place it in a zip-lock bag. Banana bread is best if used before it is in the freezer for three or four months but can be left longer. Individual slices can also be frozen.
How long will banana bread last?
If all of the bread isn’t consumed while it’s warm, tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and then in a zip-lock bag. Make sure that none of the banana bread is left exposed to ensure it remains moist. It can remain on the counter for roughly three to four days. The bread will still be safe to eat after this period but might be a little dry.
What if I don’t have a loaf pan?
Most banana bread recipes make enough for a 9x5 inch loaf pan. While that’s the traditional way to make banana bread, don’t feel like you need to rush out and buy loaf pans. The batter can be put into a muffin tin to make banana bread muffins. Most recipes will make between eight or 10 muffins. However, the cooking time will need to be adjusted to roughly 20 minutes.
How to make banana bread
Banana bread recipe
- 2-3 overly ripe bananas (about 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup butter (about 5 tablespoons)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray cooking spray on the pan or muffin tins.
- Melt the butter.
- Combine butter and sugar in a mixing bowl until smooth.
- Add in egg and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
- Mash the bananas. Add mashed bananas to the mixture.
- Mix in the baking soda, flour and salt.
- Add mixture into prepared pan.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center. If it comes out clean, your banana bread is done. If not, continue cooking.
- Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.
Banana bread additions
While banana bread is delicious on its own, feel free to add any extras. Nuts, dried fruit and chocolate chips add a great texture and great taste. You could even add cocoa powder or peanut butter for a different flavor.
Common mistakes when making banana bread
- Measuring flour incorrectly: You should never pack flour into a measuring cup. Instead, spoon the flour into a measuring cup and level off the excess. Too much flour will produce dry, crumbly bread.
- Using under ripe bananas: Not only are overly ripe bananas easier to mash, but it is also sweeter. A banana bread won’t be nearly as flavorful if under-ripe bananas are used.
- Over mixing the batter: Banana bread is so effortless to make, and it’s best just to mix it by hand. It will also allow you to control the amount of mixing. Over mixing will develop more gluten, resulting in a loaf of rubbery banana bread.
- Using too many bananas: Banana is one of the main ingredients that keep banana bread moist, so it can be tempting to add more bananas to ensure the loaf doesn’t turn out dry. However, too many bananas will make the bread dense.
Bre Richey is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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