Banana bread is great for many occasions, and It makes for an easy dessert, last-minute gift, or a simple snack on the go. It's relatively easy to make and is good for novice bakers just starting. Yet, there are still many pitfalls to baking banana bread that you'll want to avoid. Below is a list of 7 of the most common mistakes to avoid when baking Banana Bread.
Over mixing the batter
As easy as it is to make banana bread with all of its simple and clear instructions, the method itself can be pretty complex. Whether you choose to make banana bread in a stand mixer or use a simple bowl and spoon, the key to a beautiful, fluffy, moist loaf does not overmix the batter.
The reason is as you mix, the gluten begins to develop, and when too much development happens, you can end up with a dense, chewy loaf rather than the soft and delicious banana bread you were hoping for.
To avoid this and achieve the perfect texture, it's best to start by ensuring your wet ingredients are thoroughly combined before you introduce your dry ingredients. When you later add your dry ingredients, be sure to fold the dry ingredients into the wet. I suggest using a spoon and not a mixture for this process, ensuring everything is fully Incorporated.
Related: Banana Bread Chipwich
Not measuring the flour correctly
When it comes to banana bread, moisture is key, and the ratio of flour to banana makes all the difference in getting the perfect banana bread consistency. If you use too much flour, you'll end up with really dry banana bread, and If you don't use enough flour, your banana bread will be way too wet.
The secret lies in how you measure the flour. The scoop out of the bag method could be packing way too much flour. Instead, use the measuring spoon and level method by spooning flour into a measuring cup and scraping off the access with a flat side of a knife or a straight edge, ensuring that you will always have the perfect measurement.
Using too many bananas
It may be difficult, but you must fight the urge to use more bananas than your recipe requires. Using too many bananas can make your bread heavy and damp in the center, causing it to appear undercooked and unappealing.
If you have extra bananas leftover, feel free to freeze them and use them another time, but I repeat, do not put them in the batter just because they are there. If you want to achieve the perfect banana bread, the ratio of banana to flour is crucial.
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Not checking it's done.
One of the mistakes that have caught me on more than one occasion is forgetting to make sure that the banana bread is done before cutting into it. I hate when I cut into the banana bread only to discover it's undercooked in the center.
I want to ensure that you don't make that same mistake. So while it's still in the oven, insert a skewer into the center, and if it comes out with crumbs on it or clean, it's ready. However, if the skewer has any better sticking to it, yep, you guessed it, it's not quite done yet. Get it back in the oven for a further five minutes and repeat the process until it comes out clean.
Mixing in the ingredients in the wrong order
Have you ever been reading a recipe and the directions say to mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl from the wet ingredients and wonder why? After all, it's all going to be mixed anyway, and who needs the extra dishes.
Well, baking is a science, specific ingredients need to be introduced in a particular order, or they work differently. When it comes to banana bread recipes, it doesn't work to throw everything into a bowl, add some mashed banana, and cross your fingers. Much like baking a cake, banana bread requires a specific operation order, adding the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
Under greasing the pan
One of the most tragic mistakes made when making banana bread is being unable to remove it from the pen. Once you have made the perfect banana bread, following every step to perfection, you then must poke and prod your loaf to remove it, ruining its Instagramable quality, taking away your chance to share your masterpiece with the world.
Luckily with a bit of preparation ahead of time, this can easily be avoided when you're using a glass or metal loaf pan. Greasing your pan with oil or butter can help your banana bread come out smoothly. Either using canned oil spray or simply rubbing butter or shortening along the inside of the pen will create a layer of oil for easy release. Coating the pan with flour after oiling or buttering will make sure nothing sticks while baking, although I prefer to cover it in a mixture of white and brown sugar to add extra flavor and crunch to the banana bread. You can also opt for using parchment paper, which always allows for a smooth lease by lifting the paper. The choice is yours but be sure to choose one.
Using under-ripe bananas
Have you ever tried to mash green bananas? You know that's no fun, not at all. That's why you should use only very ripe bananas to make banana bread or overripe bananas as they are easier to mash and more flavorful.
The question now is, how can you tell when a banana is ready? A banana is ripe when it is entirely yellow. It's then overripe when you start to see anything from spotted bananas to solid black. So when a banana is coming to the end of its shelf life, it's perfect for baking the best banana bread.
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