The Secret Of Light And Moist Banana Bread
Have you ever had banana bread or muffins that are heavy and oily? I have made them that way in the past. Over the years I learned a trick…actually, it was there in the instructions all along. Someone actually did figure out the scientifics of the gluten reaction, thusly figuring out that too much stirring of the banana bread batter will make it dense and oily. It’s really no trick at all. Just make sure you read the directions as well as the ingredients list. Sometimes cooking is a chemistry experiment that must be done by the proper method.
You will notice that this recipe is an old favorite by the spillings of milk, oil, and heaven knows what else on the page. I think it even became glued together and pulled apart at one point, but luckily not where any print was disturbed.
The recipe has several variations listed below what is shown but the banana variation calls for two medium ripe banana’s mashed and reduce the milk to 3/4 cup. I’ve learned to follow the last line of the first paragraph to the letter…”beat on medium speed 1/2 minute, scraping side and bottom of bowl constantly”. If you beat for even a few more seconds, you run the risk of causing the gluten to activate too early, fizzle out before the baking, and cause the bread to become too heavy for the baking soda to give its lift to it in the oven. To better carry out this step you might mix the wet ingredients first (I let this be my nine-year-old’s job), add the flour, and then mix for the 30 seconds. You won’t believe the difference if you’ve been like me and made awful banana bread for years, but get lucky only once in a while. Those times I got lucky were probably times when I was in a huge hurry or got distracted from the stirring. Now I know what I’ve been doing wrong…I’ve been messing with the batter too much and too long. Eureka!
Once they’ve baked, and if you can(55 minutes is a long time and the house will smell like Heaven), allow the loaves to cool slightly. I set mine in a window to rush things along. Some in our house like nuts (me) and some don’t so I need to make two kinds of bread. I just pour half the batter, then add half the nuts to the remaining batter and pour it in the other loaf pan. And that is why the flag of Holland stands up in one of the loaves…nothing to do with Holland, I just happened (and have no explanation) to have her flag in miniature in the kitchen drawer …seemed like and excellent marker.
I’m happy to share the secret of success especially when it ‘s something this yummy in the end. If you’ve got a couple of ”too far gone” bananas the rest of the ingredients are probably in your pantry. I urge you to try it for a wonderful breakfast bread or snack in the afternoon…or maybe even midnight. This stuff disappears fast around our house!