A number of people on the board have praised Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook. Frankly, I'm a fan too of some of her other books, but I haven't used the baking book until today.
I'm making the banana bread. I just put it in the oven maybe 15 minutes ago. I looked though the oven window and noticed that the edges of the batter have curled up like paper. The center is still flat, but the corners have become pointed and are curling over and browning faster then the rest of the bread.
Has this happened to anyone else? Is this how this is supposed to look? Does the recipe work out eventually? I'm a pretty competent baker--I can make decent croissants when I have the energy, so I'm not pretty confident about my skills.
Just checked the oven again and the bread has risen over the rim of the loaf pan. The batter is pretty much set, so it's not in danger of overflowing and creating a mess in the oven. I'm used to rounded, humped banana bread and it looks like this one is more slab-like.
BTW, the recipe is oil-based with baking soda for leavening and no baking powder which I found unusual since the other recipes for quick breads in the book seem to call for some powder.
I have been running into the same problem with various types of loaves that I have made recently (not the MS recipe). First, I thought it was maybe my baking powder and soda, so replaced those with new packages. Nope. I am stumped. I am now just wondering if it is my oven that is a little iffy and causes this to happen (most recently Christmas Eve). I follow the recipes exactly, however, I am not a spoon and swooper with my flour - I shove the whole measuring cup into the bag and shake off the excess, so maybe this is part of the problem. Either way, I would LOVE to hear what the reason could be!
Is this the banana bread with the unsweetened coconut in it? If so, I didn't run into your problems. But I also can't look into my oven window as the light only turns on when the door is opened. But, I did overcook mine a bit. Next time, I will place the bread pan on a cookie sheet to give it some insulation.
Here is my post on the bread.
Katie Nell, I don't think my outside was crunchy. The inside was moist and soft though. But, I've been baking and eating so many sweets that things are starting to blur together.
Glad it turned out! When I made this recipe, I tried to cram all my batter into two mini loaf pans, so they did end up with rounded tops, but it may have only been because they were too full! I was really happy with the finished product though... was yours crunchy on the outside and moist and soft on the inside like mine? Or would I get a different result using the right size pan and amount of batter?
re: Katie Nell
Yes, nice crunchy crust on the outside with a deep carmelized flavor. The inside is nice and moist. There's a picture of a poundcake in the MS baking book that looks a lot like my banana bread. You can see the rim of the poundcake has risen and folded over onto the cake. It's quite attractive actually.
I also made the pumpkin bread from the book and it turned out really great too. It actually tastes like pumpkin rather than lots of spices the way these bread tend to. The spice is there, but it really compliments the pumpkin.