Ensure your banana bread is moist by using bananas that are very brown, soft to the touch, and give off a pronounced banana aroma. It's fair to call this fruit overripe -- just perfect for yielding deliciously moist banana bread.
Delicious Banana Bread Recipe
As with all quick breads, one of the secrets of a moist crumb is not to overmix the batter. That means combining the wet ingredients in one bowl and the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then mixing them together with a few strokes until the batter is just mixed.
Yield: 1 (9x5x3 inch) loaf
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 to 4 very ripe peeled bananas
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 large well-beaten eggs
- 3 ounces (3/4 stick) butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/4 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
- Set rack in the center of oven and heat to 350 F.
- Lightly coat a 9x5x3-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or lightly grease the pan with shortening, dust lightly with flour, and shake out the excess.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda until well combined.
- Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a hand mixer and a large bowl, mix together bananas, oil, eggs, melted butter, and vanilla until thoroughly incorporated (there might be tiny chunks of banana and that's OK).
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix just until well combined and no streaks of flour show.
- Add the walnuts by hand and mix quickly but thoroughly.
- Pour the dough into the prepared pan.
- Bake the banana bread for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Check the bread after 45 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack about 10 minutes. Then run a knife around the edges of the banana bread, invert onto the rack and remove the pan. Cool completely before serving.
More Ways to Add Moisture to Banana Bread
While using overripe bananas, chopped nuts, and not overmixing the batter are some of the first steps to take in achieving a moist banana bread, these additions will put your dessert loaf over the top:
- An age-old method for extending the shelf-life of a baked product is to add nuts to a batter or dough (as is done in the recipe above). But the nuts need to be coarsely chopped; otherwise, finely chopped nuts will act as a binder and dry out the end-product.
- Dairy can improve the flavor, texture, and moistness of quick breads. Adding a tablespoon of room-temperature sour cream, plain yogurt or mascarpone cheese to the wet ingredients in the basic recipe above will add zip and moisture.
- Reconstituted puréed dried fruits also up the moisture ante. Try adding 1/2 cup dried apricots, pears, apples, or prunes that have been soaked in hot water for 1 hour, drained and puréed to the wet ingredients of the basic recipe, above. You might have to bake a few additional minutes. As always, use the toothpick test.
Are Your Bananas Not Ripe Enough?
You can have perfectly overripe bananas, just right for baking, anytime you want them by following these steps:
- Heat oven to 250 F.
- Place the number of bananas your recipe calls for, unpeeled, on a cookie sheet and bake until soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Don't bake to the point where juices start to exude from the fruit.
- When cool, peel them and use in your recipe.
Banana bread that has plenty of moisture is sure to please everyone's palate. Make the basic recipe first and then decide if you need coarser nuts, a dairy addition, or some additional fruits to up the ante. Once you find your key ingredient for moist bread, you'll have a recipe worth saving.