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How to Make Banana Bread

You’re about to become an expert on the most classic quick bread of all: banana bread. MORE+ LESS-
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Banana bread falls into the category of quick breads. Quick breads include loaves, muffins, scones and biscuits. Because they’re leavened with baking powder or baking soda, instead of yeast, the preparation time is shorter. So novice and accomplished bakers alike can offer fresh-from-the-oven goodies in no time.

Tips for Perfect Quick Breads

  • Overmixing makes quick breads tough. Mix batter for loaves and muffins with a spoon, not an electric mixer, just until dry ingredients are moistened.
  • To prevent gummy, soggy or heavy loaves, don’t increase the amount of fruit or vegetables called for in recipe.
  • Grease only the bottom of loaf or muffins pans, unless otherwise specified. This prevents a lip – hard, dry edge – from forming.
  • Allow at least 2 inches of space around pans in the oven for heat circulation.
  • Cracks will form on top of quick breads. This is caused by leavening action during baking and is normal.
  • Cool loaves completely for 2 hours to prevent crumbling when slicing. For easy slicing and better flavor, store loaves tightly covered for 24 hours.
  • Cut loaves with a serrated knife, using a light sawing motion.

How to Make Banana Bread

When making banana bread you want to use very ripe bananas. If you have bananas that are brown — perfect! — but ripe bananas speckled with brown spots will also work well. The riper the fruit, the sweeter the bread. No ripe bananas to be found? If you’re planning to make banana bread in a few days, you can do a couple things to make sure they’re ripe in time. First, pull apart any bananas that share a stem. Second, put the bananas in a brown paper bag and fold it closed. Both these tricks help speed up the ripening process.

This is our most popular classic banana bread recipe that has appeared in every edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook. This heritage recipe does the trick every time we’ve got a banana bread craving!

banana-bread_01

What You’ll Need:

  • Ingredients for Banana Bread
  • 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches, or 1 loaf pan, 9 x 5 x 3 inches.
  • Large bowl
  • Spatula
  • Toothpicks for testing doneness
  • Wire rack for cooling

Steps:

1. Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom of loaf pan(s). Note that the sides of the pan are not greased, so the batter can rise properly.

2. Mix sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended. Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt just until moistened — there will be some lumps. Gently fold in nuts. Pour into pan(s).

banana-bread_02

3. Bake 8-inch loaves about 1 hour, 9-inch loaf about 1 1/4 hours, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Carefully loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack.

banana-bread_03

4. Cool completely, about 2 hours, before slicing. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days or refrigerate up to 10 days.

Expert Tip: No buttermilk on hand? In an emergency, you can mix 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice or white vinegar and enough milk to make 1/2 cup. Or substitute 1/2 cup plain yogurt.

To make this into Blueberry-Banana Bread: Omit nuts. Stir 1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) and drained blueberries into batter. Fold blueberries in gently to prevent them from releasing juice into the batter and turning the batter gray.

Making Mini Banana Bread Loaves

Bake quick bread batters in miniature loaf pans, muffin pans or small cake molds in special shapes. To determine how much batter to use for a pan, fill with water, then pour the water into a measuring cup. See below for how much batter to use for your pan size.

Approximate Pan Size

Amount of Batter

Approximate Bake Time at 350°F

1/3 cup

1/4 cup

15 to 20 minutes

1/2 cup

1/3 cup

15 to 20 minutes

2/3 to 3/4 cup

1/2 cup

25 to 35 minutes

1 cup

3/4 cup

35 to 40 minutes

How to Make Banana Muffins

Banana muffins are a tasty variation on banana bread and quite easy to make. They’re a perfect option when you need a portable breakfast, or to slip in a lunchbox for a mid-morning or afternoon snack.

Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins

Expert Tip: Overmixing leads to peaked tops, tough interiors and dry muffins, so follow these simple steps and your muffins will be beautiful and delicious.

Keys to Success

  • Grease bottoms only of muffin cups. Muffins will rise higher in the cups if they can “grab” onto the sides.
  • Beat wet ingredients first before adding dry ingredients. This will prevent the batter from being overmixed.
  • Stir in dry ingredients all at once, just until moistened, to prevent overmixing.

Muffin Fix-Ups

The best muffins should be golden brown, slightly rounded with bumpy tops and a tender, moist and even textured. They should be easy to remove from the pan. Here are some common mistakes to avoid.

  • Pale muffins: The oven was not hot enough.
  • Peaked or smooth on top: Too much mixing.
  • Tough and heavy: Too much flour or mixing.
  • Dry: Too much flour, oven too hot or baked too long.
  • Tunnels: Too much mixing.
  • Sticks to pan: Pan not greased correctly.

Specialty Muffins Times and Temperatures

Use this chart to convert a 12-muffin recipe to mini or jumbo muffins. Check at the minimum time to see if muffins are done, then check every minute or two until done.

Muffin Size

Muffin Cup Size

Oven Temperature

Bake Time

Yield

Mini

1 ¾ x 1 inch (small)

400°F

10 to 17 minutes

24

Jumbo

3 ½ x 1 ¾ inches (large)

375°F

25 to 35 minutes

4


Muffin batters with large pieces of nuts, fruit or chocolate work better for jumbo muffins. For mini muffins, use miniature chips and small pieces of fruit and nuts.

Types of Banana Bread

We firmly believe everyone should be able to enjoy banana bread, so we’ve got recipes for gluten-free banana bread and vegan banana bread. And for those watching fat and calories, we’ve got a skinny version, too!

There are countless types of banana bread, from blueberry-banana to banana-chocolate chip and everything you can think of in between. Recipes vary, but there’s surely a banana bread recipe for everyone’s tastes. Here are just a few of our favorite flavor variations.

Banana Bread Hacks and Twists

Now that you’ve mastered our classic banana bread recipe, why not try one of these creative hacks and twists?

How to Store Banana Bread

Completely cooled loaves of banana bread should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap or foil and will last in the refrigerator up to 1 week. Tightly wrapped loaves placed in freezer plastic bags can be frozen for 3 months.

If you have very ripe bananas but you’re not ready to make banana bread, peel and mash the bananas and freeze in 1-cup portions to be added to recipes later on. Simply thaw before adding to your recipe. One cup of mashed banana is equal to about two medium bananas.

We’ve got lots more of Betty’s best banana bread recipes where these came from!


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