Banana bread is all the rage right now – and these are the tips and tricks to make yours turn out perfect.
Why is everyone making so much banana bread? Well, it’s actually pretty cool if you look back at the origins of the beloved baked good. People started making banana bread during the Great Depression, because nobody was willing to waste any food – and, interestingly enough, it seems to be a similar case with everything going on right now. In this time when we’re trying to limit our grocery runs, people are being extra conscientious of food waste – which means no banana will be left un-eaten!
Additionally, banana bread is just a fun, easy, and calming quickbread to make. It’s a great simple baked good, it makes your house smell amazing, and the virtuous addition of bananas makes it feel acceptable for breakfast. What’s not to love? To ensure that you live your best banana bread life, I’ve put together a few tips and tricks on how to make it turn out fab every time.
Banana Bread Tips and Tricks
1. Ripen your bananas in a day or two with the paper bag trick. Stick bananas in a brown paper bag with some other ripe fruit, or a potato. It encourages gases to circulate the bag that help speed up the ripening process. Apparently, it works even better when you stick it somewhere warm – so try setting it down by a window or on top of the refrigerator.
2. The roasted-banana trick. If you need ripe bananas ASAP for a banana bread emergency (a real thing), stick unpeeled bananas in the oven to caramelize so the flavor concentrates. We’ve got an article on how to do it here!
3. You don’t just want ripe bananas… you want OVER ripe bananas. Mushy, brown, ultra-fragrant – that’s what you want. The riper the banana, the more banana-y your bread will taste. The perfect banana bread banana is one you would not want to eat like a snack. Just look out for signs that they’ve gone rotten, like mold, or a fermented alcohol-like smell.
4. Mash the bananas really well. One of the first things I ever made in a bakery job was banana muffin batter – however, I didn’t mash up the bananas enough, so it was more like a dry muffin with chunks of bananas (no good!!!). Bananas aren’t just an add-in ingredient, like nuts or chocolate chips – they’re actually integral to the texture of the bread. Mashed bananas = moist and flavorful bread!
5. Spoon & level your flour. If you aren’t using this method (or my lazy method, as explained in the video above!) then you might be using too much flour. The deal is this – when you scoop flour right out of the bag, it compacts the flour, and each time you stick the measuring cup in there, the flour is more dense. This way, you’re ending up with more than you likely need, which results in less tender and airy baked goods.
6. Don’t overmix! This goes for most simple baked goods (other than bread!) because overworking the flour creates more gluten development, which results in potentially chewy or dense results. In this case, you especially don’t want to overmix, because the banana + flour could create a gummy texture if they’re mixed together too much. Mix in the dry ingredients just until the flour is fully combined!
7. Use more than one kind of chocolate chip! Yes, I might just use this as a tip in every video I do because I STAND BY IT! Using more than one type of chocolate chip invites more flavor variation to the party.
8. Parchment paper! Work smart, not hard – parchment paper is a great insurance policy, and you should invest in some! (PS – I always buy these unbleached pre-cut sheets!) In this case, in a loaf pan, make sure you leave overhanging flaps of parchment on either side. That way, you can lift the bread out with ease!