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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!

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8 responses

  1. avian101

    I love different kinds of breads, we have a friend that has a catering business and she does the baking herself. She bakes a couple of loaves of raspberry, cranberry bread for me once in a while that I devour in no time! This banana bread is going to be a hit for my home because I buy lots of bananas every week, we eat those at breakfast. As always we get to the end of the week and they get overripe, Lucy uses the blender to make fruit juice with all fruit leftover, which gives us thick fruit juice for breakfast. Thanks for the recipe Diva! I can smell the freshly baked banana bread already! Yummm! :)

    June 5, 2012 at 1:41 pm

    • Thank YOU! How do people on those diets live without bread??? I would not be a good gluten-free person…much respect to those who manage it.

      June 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm

  2. When you recipe has yellowed with age. You know it is a winner and made many times before. Thanks for sharing.

    June 6, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    • Ha! So true…this recipe is from the Betty Crocker Cookbook ~1976 …..Thanks for stoppin’ by :)

      June 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm

  3. I got hungry just by looking at your post! =)

    June 8, 2012 at 8:01 am

    • :) I hope you don’t stay hungry for long. Thanks for stoppin’ by Mydearbakes

      June 10, 2012 at 4:56 pm

  4. Banana

    Thank you, thank you SO much for posting this. I tried a banana bread/cake recipe from another website, and it was a total disaster. It sank, it was dense, heavy and had a massive uncooked lump all the way through! And it was a Mary Berry recipe too. I followed it to a tee, and it was not good. I had to throw it away. I then found your amazing advice and recipe and it worked perfectly for me. I’m so happy. I’ve made it twice, and everyone loves it! It rose perfectly and Thanks for the pictures they were most helpful. You are right, the trick is the oil, and not stirring too long. I’m so grateful to you. Thank u xx

    August 15, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    • Oh my goodness Banana! Thank you for such a kind comment. I took my share of massive uncooked lumps before I consulted THE Betty for the secret ingredient..which turns out to be less energy. The less you mess with any quick bread dough the better. I’m so happy for your success. xx to you too!

      August 19, 2014 at 1:01 pm

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