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Mar 17, 2011 08:38 AM

Why was my bnana bread rubbery?

I followed this recipe exactly

The only variable was the bananas. I used 3 large bananas.

Not only was it rubbery, it didn't have much banana flavor.

What's wrong? WHAT?????

Too long in the oven? Wrong temperature? Too little time? Too much banana? Too little? Bad recipe?

This is why I hate cooking ... hate it. You can follow something exactly and wind up with something exactly and it comes out like a Firestone tire.

Unfortunately I have about 20 lbs (probably more) of bananas going bad and I hate waste. So HELP!!! Even the dog didn't want this. I can't seem making this over and over

BTW< I'm in Guatemala and pretty much limited to basics like flour white, eggs, milk and white sugar,. So if offering alternate recipes that have exotic ingredients like sour cream or brown sugar ... it isn't going to happen. We do have some margarine, so I could replace the oil with that.

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  1. This may not be relevant, but could altitude be affecting it? Don't know where you are in Guatemala, or how this type of recipe would respond to it, but I ask only b/c I just had a long talk with friends from Mexico about how they had to adjust to flatlander cooking.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Cachetes

      I'm on the coast, pretty much at sea level ... we were preparing to evaculate had the tsunami hit Also, babana bread is the thing that Gautemala excels at. Evvery corner panaderia makes them, so it has to be me.

      There's a topic on the new Modernist Cuisine book that has a link to the New Yorker story with really great info about the difference of cooking in Mexico City and NY and the reason why

      1. re: rworange

        Thanks for the great recommendation for reading!!!

    2. This blogger did not like the Cook's Illustrated BB recipe, partially because of the butter they used instead of oil, but that would be an easy swap for you. I am supplying the link because of the technique for intensifying the banana flavor. I remember seeing this on ATK - although the blogger wasn't impressed with this, either. Who knows, her bananas may have lacked flavor to begin with, as might be the case with yours. I have no ideas for fixing the texture.

      1. Two thoughts:
        1. Over mixing, though i doubt it since you know quite a bit about food and cooking.
        2. Banana variety, There are so many different varieties of bananas all with there own starch, fiber and sugar ratios. I know that almost all our (USA) recipes are based on the Cavendish.

        5 Replies
        1. re: chefj

          Over mixing could be it. I used a beater and beat the heck out of it.

          They were Chiquita Cavendish bananas ... though that could explain why the banana bread in general in Guatemala is superior ... they would be using local, native bananas and not Cavendish. However, these were a gift from a friend and the type that goes to the US.

          I know a little about food, but cooking eludes me. It took me five years to get the Thanksgiving turkey right. Every Easter I need to pull out the cookbook and look up how to boil eggs. I just don't have the patience for cooking, the results always come out bad.

          1. re: rworange

            If it was after you added the flour I would say that was it.

            1. re: chefj

              Yep ... used the beater on high through the whole process. Thanks.

            2. re: rworange

              Over mixing could be it. I used a beater and beat the heck out of it.
              oh yeah, that'll definitely give you a loaf you can bounce off the floor. and regarding the flavor, did you taste the bananas before adding them? sometimes the flavor of the fruit itself just isn't very assertive, and cooking/baking it mellows it even more, you need extremely ripe, very flavorful bananas...particularly since i'm guessing you don't have access to banana extract or flavoring, which would be a way to cheat/enhance the banana-ness ;)

              1. re: rworange

                Banana bread is a quick bread - should be mixed like muffins. That is, barely mix the flour into the wet ingredients and get it into the oven asap. It's okay if not all the flour is completely mixed in, preferable in fact than mixing the batter completely smooth. A few lumps are ok!

            3. You may have developed the gluten too much. The recipe calls for mixing the dry with the wet 'well'.

              The recipe is a variant on the muffin method - mix the wet and dry separately, the combine. The way I've been making pumpkin bread is:
              combine eggs, oil, milk, fruit puree (fork mashing of ripe bananas should be sufficient)
              combine flour, salt, bp, sugar (yes,some treat sugar as a wet)
              add dry to wet in a couple of stages, stirring just enough to combine, but not over mix.

              1. I would add another banana. Also, when I make banana bread I mash the bananas with the sugar, then mix in all of the wet ingredients before adding the dry. Once you add the dry ingredients, fold it together until moistened, then bake.

                1 Reply
                1. re: LoBrauHouseFrau

                  I agree on the overmixing. I'd also make sure the bananas were very ripe, even black. That way they would be the most sweet. Also keep in mind that banana bread is very fragrant while baking, but a lot of the flavor seems to leave once it cools. I know there is a technical reason for it, I just don't remember it. Banana bread is never banana-ee enough for me.

                  Maybe make banana cream pie or banana pudding with all those extra bananas!