We all know that banana bread had a little moment during the COVID-19 lockdown. But this teatime treat has been a favorite before lockdown, and will be for many more years to come. And while we call it cake, we might as well admit that it’s actually a cake. If you ever wondered if banana bread can get any better, then wonder no more. We have the top tips to take your banana loaf to the next level.
Who doesn’t love a thick slice of banana bread? Whether it reminds you of your childhood or you simply love the rich sweetness, there’s a recipe for everyone. With our tips, you’ll make the best banana bread!
Many fruits are thrown away when they become overripe, due to the soggy and unpleasing texture. But when it comes to banana bread, it’s a matter of the riper, the better. During the ripening process, the starch in bananas gets converted to sugar. This makes for a deliciously sweet banana bread, packed with banana flavor!
So what do you do when you’re ready to bake banana bread, but you bananas aren’t ready yet? You accelerate the ripening process, of course! Simply place the unpeeled bananas in the oven at 300°F/150°C and bake until they start to become brown.
If you have a little more time to spare, you can also add them to a brown paper bag and let them rest in a warm place. The bananas release ethylene gas, which helps to ripen them quickly.
Banana bread without the flavor of bananas would taste pretty bland. And while banana bread recipes are pretty straightforward, don’t be tempted to add all the ingredients to the bowl at once. For the banana flavor to be incorporated throughout the batter, you need make sure that you mash the bananas properly before adding them to the rest of the ingredients.
There’s a reason why most baking recipes have a specific order to them. It can often make the difference between a flop and a delicious creation. Make sure to mix your wet and dry ingredients separately, and when combining the two, make sure you add the dry ingredients to the wet, and not the other way around. This will prevent pockets of dry flour in your batter.
To avoid these flour pockets, many home cooks are tempted to beat the banana bread into submission. But seriously, this is not a good idea. The more you mix your batter, the more gluten (a protein found in flour) develops. This is great if you’re making a normal loaf of bread, but in banana bread it can lead to a dense, rubbery loaf.
When you add eggs to the wet ingredients, make sure to whisk thoroughly after each addition. You need to do this for the egg to be distributed evenly throughout the batter. This is only applicable when adding more than one egg. If you don’t want to use eggs in your recipe, you can also try applesauce!
If you make banana bread and your batter looks too wet, don’t be tempted to add more flour that what’s stated in the recipe. Adding more flour can lead to a dry, crumbly banana bread. As most home cooks know, when it comes too baking, it’s best to stick to the recipe. Especially when it comes to the flour!
We all know that feeling…you just spend an hour waiting for your bread to finish baking, only to come out in pieces when you remove it from the baking tin. To avoid this mishap, make sure to grease your baking ban properly. Use butter, oil, or even pork lard. After greasing, sprinkle a layer of flour over the tin and your banan bread will come out quick and easy!
We get it. When the smell of banana bread fills the air, you just want to take it out of the oven and dig in. But banana bread takes time. Usually it bakes for about an hour. And while we love a slightly underbaked, gooey center in brownies, it’s definitely a no-no in banana bread. Set your timer, and have patience!
Don’t be tempted to crank up the oven and think you can get away with a shorter baking time. This will only cause the outsides of the bread to become very dark, while the inside is still undercooked. Stick to the time stated in the recipe – usually about 350°F/180°C.
Remember to let your banana bread rest before slicing it to it. This gives the sugars inn the bread to solidify, making it easier to slice.