Go Bananas: Making The Perfect Loaf Of Banana Bread
This winter, as the temperatures begin to drop, more and more people will head into the kitchen to cook up warm, tasty treats. Even as the snow begins to fall, and temperatures dip into the low 10s, there is nothing quite as satisfying like enjoying baked goods amid a picturesque winter day. This season, why not consider making some banana bread? Not only is it delicious, but it’s often easy to make, especially if you have the right tips and tricks.
Roast your bananas
Most recipes will call for bananas that have been perfectly ripened. If you don’t have those specimens available, you can always roast your bananas in the oven. After just 20 minutes, even slightly un-ripened bananas will reach that proper state of doneness. Plus, you’ll get softer, slightly tastier bananas overall. Some chefs will even freeze their overripe bananas for a few days, which can help to offset the ripening process and leave you with perfect bananas for almost any bread recipe.
Just because you’ve used the same banana bread recipe for 15 years doesn’t mean it’s totally perfect. If you want to spice up your banana bread a little bit, try adding in some fresh new ingredients. Chocolate spread or Nutella that’s baked directly into the bread is not only tasty but can lend a nice creamy texture to boot. Or, throw in some chocolate chips, which should add a whole new dimension of flavor to the existing banana taste. Still feeling daring? Other chefs will add a handful of cranberries into the mix, which pair extra nicely with bananas.
Sweeten with sugar
Bananas in and of themselves are a fairly sweet fruit. That explains why most banana breads don’t call for nearly as much sugar as some other desert or bread recipes. However, adding in some extra sugar can go a long way in making the final bread sweet. Just be sure to use the right kind of sugar. For most recipes, a few extra ounces of granulated sugar will do, or try something else entirely with a little bit of brown sugar.
Soda or powder?
There is a bit of wiggle room to most banana bread recipes. However, some chefs swear by either soda or baking powder and almost never switch allegiances. If you opt for baking powder, you can expect light and fluffy banana bread. If you’re more into well-risen bread, then you may want to go for baking soda, specifically the strongest variety you can find. Another slightly less popular option is the use of bicarbonate soda, which you may want to avoid if you’ve never used in any past recipes.