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Banana Bread: Help me please!!!!!

  • z

I try to bake a banana bread and the result is a disaster. I don't known if its because I used defrosted bananas. Do you have a solution? Thank you for your help!

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  1. Can you define "disaster". Too wet, too dry, doesn't rise, tastes like xxxx, doesn't brown, burns .......
    "Defrosted" bananas - did you mash them? Frozen bananas are a common ingredient in banana bread.
    You might also benefit your cause If you'd include the recipe information in your post.

    10 Replies
    1. re: todao

      Exactly, wondering what type of disaster the OP is talking about.

      1. re: todao

        The bread was tasteless, not sweet at all, the bananas were defrosted in the fridge the day before. I mashed them. I had a hard time to bake it. (It took more than an hour to cook). It didn't rise at all; the top was flat.

        1. re: Zouba

          I put 3 eggs for 1 bread. Maybe it is too much for a banana bread? And too much liquid?

            1. re: wyogal

              The recipe is in French, but I'll translate it for you. The ingredients are calculated in grams, because they use the metric system there! Hope you can understand!

              Here is the recipe: for 2 breads
              5 bananas
              100 g candied ginger
              4 eggs
              100 ml milk
              250 g butter, softened
              250 g sugar
              400 g flour
              22 g baking powder

              1. re: Zouba

                I would expect some salt, maybe 10g.

                I think the other proportions are correct, though I'm more used to seeing them in American volume measures.

                1. re: paulj

                  It is true for the salt. Good observation, thank you!
                  I agree with you, I also prefer to cook with imperial measures. ;)

                  I have a scale at home when I use a French recipe. At the end, it is the same thing; one system or the other, the result should be good and eatable!

          1. re: Zouba

            Without knowing the ingredients, we can't really say what was wrong. I doubt if the bananas were the problem. The lack of sweetness is not their fault.

            Freezing overripe bananas for bread is common practice.

            Even if the bananas are flavorless, the bread should not be flavorless.

            50 minutes or more baking time is normal for a quick bread loaf.

            Normally the batter is stiff pourable.

            1. re: paulj

              She has indicated her recipe, the one that was translated from French. See above.

        2. I use defrosted bananas and my banana bread is great with them.

          What is it about yours that is so bad?

          1. Don`t despair Zouba, just change recipes. I use frozen all the time, bring to room temperature before using. I have a one bowl recipe for you:

            2-3 medium sized bananas (3/4 cup)

            1/2 cup of white sugar

            1 beaten egg
            1/3 cup of vegetable oil

            Add the above ingredients together and then add the following sifted ingredients to the wet mixture. Stir just until flour disappears. Do not overbeat

            Dry Ingredients: Sifted

            1 1/2 cup of all purpose unbleached flour

            1 teaspoon of baking powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 teaspoon of baking soda

            At this point you could add 1/2 cup of chocolate chips (I use Ghiardelli) and finally it is important to the mixture to add 1 tablespoon of cold water, it lightens the mixture and makes the baking powder activate. Put in a loaf pan lined with parchment paper and cook at 350 middle rack for 40-60 minutes. I got this recipe from a community church cookbook and have received many compliments on it. If making muffins, greased pan or paper lined 375 degrees for 20-40 minutes.

            5 Replies
            1. re: Ruthie789

              Ruthie, is there no butter or oil in your recipe?

              1. re: sandylc

                Yes thank you, 1/3 cup of vegetable oil. I apologize... have corrected my recipe.

              2. re: Ruthie789

                Thank you for the recipe! I'll try it!

                1. re: Zouba

                  I missed the oil at first, thankfully sandylc noticed or you would have had a bad recipe. It is a very fast recipe to make and I bring it to work in the mornings sometimes. My Mom always said self-praise is not a recommendation, but those who have eaten it, have said it is the best banana bread they have eaten and they ask for the recipe. Anxious to hear if it works out for you! Just don't overbeat it, in fact just stir the ingredients.

                  1. re: Zouba

                    You could also add some crystalized ginger to it, your recipe had this ingredient.

                2. I've had great success with this one http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/...

                  3 or 4 ripe bananas, smashed
                  1/3 cup melted butter
                  1 cup sugar (can easily reduce to 3/4 cup
                  )1 egg, beaten
                  1 teaspoon vanilla
                  1 teaspoon baking soda
                  Pinch of salt
                  1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour


                  No need for a mixer for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). With a wooden spoon, mix butter into the mashed bananas in a large mixing bowl. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Sprinkle the baking soda and salt over the mixture and mix in. Add the flour last, mix. Pour mixture into a buttered 4x8 inch loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Cool on a rack. Remove from pan and slice to serve.

                  Yield: Makes one loaf.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Spelunk

                    I use pretty much the same recipe to make banana muffins for my kids (just made a batch last night!). I think the recipe that the OP is using is missing baking soda...isn't that what makes it rise?

                    This recipe can easily be made into a loaf. I like muffins because they are easy to freeze and just pull one out when one of my kids wants one for breakfast.


                  2. I actually just made a loaf today, with my new favorite banana bread recipe, America's Test Kitchen's Ultimate Banana Bread. I always use frozen defrosted bananas. There's always one or two bananas in a bunch that get too ripe for my liking, so I leave them until they get really speckled and throw them in the freezer. And I like that the recipe gives an approximate weight for the bananas, since they can vary so much in size. For five bananas (not counting the one sliced on top) it's about 850 grams.

                    Here's a link with the recipe, if you read down to the notes after the recipe, there's instructions for using frozen bananas. Personally I skip the sliced banana on top because I don't care for the way it looks.


                    Oh, and I just put the banana juice into a Pyrex measuring cup and microwave it until it's reduced, so I don't have to mess up a pan on the stovetop.

                    1. I use this recipe from a magazine I bought several years back:


                      .....but I tweak it a bit.

                      One--I only use fresh bananas, never more ripe than the "yellow", a little green is OK. I cut them and freeze the chunks for 15 min while I assemble the rest.
                      Two--I add lemon or orange zest to the batter
                      Three--dark chocolate chips and pecans instead of walnuts.

                      You might glean from this, and you'd be correct, that I don't like banana bread. But my family adores it, so I make it often. Mostly I hate the taste of overripe bananas, I like the bigger chunks this way.

                      1. Is your baking powder active? How long has it been open?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: mscoffee1

                          I don't know, but it is a possibility. Thanks!

                          1. re: Zouba

                            You can test your baking powder (and baking soda):
                            Have you made anything with it recently that has risen well? I learned the hard way that you must replace this stuff.
                            Salt and vanilla will help the flavor, but not how heavy it is.

                            1. re: mscoffee1

                              Thank you for the trick! I need to buy a new one anyway...

                        2. How ripe were the bananas? Banana bread should be made with overripe bananas, going black on the outside and getting mushy.

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: antimony

                            They were very ripe, and frozen. A little bit black. I mashed them and added the liquid. It looked like a cream of mushroom! ;)

                            1. re: Zouba

                              Also did you preheat your oven, and put your loaves in as soon as mixed? If your loaves did not go right in the oven and your leavener was weak this could be a reason for failing to rise.

                              1. re: Ruthie789

                                The oven was at 350 F degrees (thermostat 5 in France). I think it waited a little bit on the counter! It could be a reason why it didn't raise. Is it the same thing for muffins?

                                1. re: Zouba

                                  Yes always try not to have your baking goods wait on a counter as you might loose the leavening power of your agents.

                                    1. re: Ruthie789

                                      How much of a wait is 'too long'? I've seen that warning, and am aware of the reasoning. But I wonder whether a wait ever makes much of a difference.

                                      For example, when I make pancakes, there isn't a noticeable difference in the rise of the first and last ones, even though the batter has sat a while (10 minutes or more). And while I may see some bubbles in the sitting batter, I don't see much bubbling and bursting, which indicate that CO2 was escaping. Banana bread batter is even stiffer, so I would expect even less escaping CO2.

                                      Some acid & baking soda combinations produce their gas on contact; others are slower, and some even require heat. Buttermilk + bs would be an immediate reaction. But most baking powders are double acting. There's even a delayed action baking powder (encapsulated) that bakers use along with yeast to ensure a consistent rise.

                                      Zouba, are you cooking in Europe? What do you know about the baking powder that you are using.

                                      With double acting baking powder, it is possible to let the batter sit overnight in the fridge, and still get decent rise.

                                      1. re: paulj

                                        Thank you for your answer. No, I am not in Europe, I live in Canada!
                                        It is a possibility that the baking powder was a bit old, and there was no baking soda in the recipe (I don't know if they use that in France.)

                                        1. re: Zouba

                                          Oops, I forgot about the French side of Canada! In my travels in British Columbia signs are in English and German - for the tourists who want to experience the 'west'. :)

                                          I vaguely recall a discussion about Canadian baking powder (Magic). It might be a true double acting powder. But baking powder probably isn't an issue.

                                          I happen to have an Americas Test Kitchen cookbook on hand. In 2011 they tried banana bread. For one loaf they use
                                          1 3/4c (8 3/4 oz, 250g) flour
                                          1 tsp of baking soda (no baking powder, there's enough acid in the bananas)
                                          1/2 tsp salt
                                          2 eggs
                                          3/4c sugar

                                          5 bananas - microwaved, mashed and strained, or
                                          5 frozen bananas, thawed, mashed and strained.

                                          reduce the 1/2-3/4c of drained liquid to 1/4c; the zap, strain and reduce sequence lets you use a lot of bananas to maximize flavor without making the batter too wet. Besides melted butter there is no other liquid in their recipe.

                                          Baking time is 55 to 75 minutes, the longer time for deeper loaves.

                                          1. re: paulj

                                            The most visible brand of baking powder in Canada is Magic Baking Powder. Is it a double acting baking powder?

                                            I would not make a cake batter and have it sit overnight in the fridge. I have done this with pancakes and used a recipe that I had been using forever. The pancakes were good but were full of large bubbles and were much more tender to turn than if I had cooked them within a 10-15 minute time range. The first part of the baking powder agent reacts immediately with liquid and yes the second component reacts with heat but I am of the inclination that it is best to work quickly. I will certainly research this or seek more information on this thread. I do see your point about what is a reasonable delay of getting it into a hot oven. How long is reasonable? As well I would not have anything sit on a counter for an extended period of time if it had raw eggs in it.
                                            I often get helpful hints from the above website

                                            1. re: Ruthie789

                                              In the USA, Rumford has one acid component, which reacts partly when mixed and partly when heated. I consider it to be a quasi-double acting. Claber Girl has 2 acids, one of which reacts immediately, and the other when heated. Argo uses a different set of 2. I think Magic has just one like Rumford, but I'm seeing mixed reports on the web.

                                              There's a lot more on baking powder on a recent long biscuit thread.

                            2. Here's a recipe I adapted years ago from a recipe out of Miss Ruby's cookbook--she owned a restaurant in New Orleans that we went to in the '80's. I took her ingredients, reduced the fat and sugar and added one more banana. It's not very sweet, has a good moist texture, and is a great way of getting the most out of overripe bananas:

                              Approx. 2 Tblsp Crisco
                              1/2 C. or less sugar
                              2 eggs, beaten
                              4 bananas--the riper the better
                              1/2 tsp salt
                              1 tsp baking soda
                              1 tsp vanilla extract
                              2 C flour

                              Lg. loaf pan, greased and floured.

                              Oven @ 350

                              Using a potato masher, cream butter and sugar. Mix in eggs. Mash in bananas well. Add salt, soda and vanilla, stir well. Mix in flour until moist, do not overmix. Use a spoon--do not use a mixer or food processer.

                              To this, I often add a handful of blueberries, or some chopped walnuts or almonds, along with dried cranberries or raisins. Lots of other possibilities.

                              Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan, bake until just done, which is about 60 minutes give or take. It's done when it just solidifies on top. DO NOT OVERBAKE!!!

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: albinoni

                                Whatever recipe you use, just use four bananas. It makes such a difference in taste.

                              2. I'll toss in my $.02 worth with a recipe that's been in the family since before I was born

                                1 Cup Sugar, granulated

                                1/2 Cup Shortening, you can use whatever you like, but I always use softened butter

                                2 eggs, well beaten

                                3 Tbls. Sour milk, or buttermilk

                                3 Bananas, very ripe, crushed

                                2 Cups Flour, A.P.

                                1 tsp. Baking Soda

                                1 tsp. Salt

                                Preheat oven to 350*

                                Sift the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside

                                Cream the sugar and butter, add the eggs and continue mixing.

                                Add the sour milk (or buttermilk) and crushed bananas and mix just until combined.

                                Fold in the flour.

                                Turn batter into a loaf pan that has been sprayed with pan release, or butter it.

                                Bake 1 hour, and it generally takes an hour. Depending on the oven, start checking for doneness around 50-55 minutes.

                                Walnuts or pecans can be added if desired

                                I sometimes sift some ground spices in with the flour, but really this banana bread doesn't need it. I also sometimes add 1-2 tsp. vanilla if I feel like it.

                                This is probably the most failsafe recipe I know. I really can't remember a loaf that didn't turn out. It's super simple to make and goes together in a snap.

                                Whatever recipe you elect to try next. Good luck.