The key to great banana bread is… RIPE bananas!!! If you use bananas that are hard & yellow or even worse green, they will contain too much starch and not enough natural sugars. As bananas ripen, they convert this starch into sugar. According to Wikipedia, “The greener, less ripe bananas contain higher levels of starch and, consequently, have a “starchier” taste. On the other hand, yellow bananas taste sweeter due to higher sugar concentrations”. FYI – You will know if a banana is ripe when it is soft and shows small brown & black spots on the yellow exterior of the banana.
Please be aware that you MUST scrape down the sides of the bread pan when the machine beeps for add-ins. At this point in the recipe, you will add the chopped nuts, but you may also find dough that isn’t well mixed stuck to the sides and bottom of the pan. Just use a rubber spatula and clean off the unmixed dough as you would in a mixing bowl. Be sure to use rubber or silicone…you don’t want to scratch the pan of your bread machine!
Once you have mastered how to make this delicious bread machine banana bread, you can experiment by adding other ingredients such as raisins, blueberries, cranberries, chocolate, walnuts, etc. See the tips section below in order to learn how to make bread machine banana nut bread, bread machine chocolate chip banana bread & bread machine blueberry banana bread. For many other bread machine & oven-baked banana bread recipes (i.e. Blueberry Banana Bread, Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Gluten Free Banana Bread, Vegan Banana Bread and Walnut Banana Bread), please visit Bread Dad’s section on Easy Banana Bread Variations.
I’m glad you liked it, Alyssa, and that it turned out well for you. I’m always surprised too, when a recipe that works well for me doesn’t work well for others. I have to think that people perhaps make alterations to the recipe or don’t follow the instructions (even if they *think* they did). Either that or different brands of machines may yield different results. I’m really not sure, but I appreciate your feedback, and I’m so glad you found the recipe easy to follow. 🙂
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For what it’s worth, please be aware that no two bread machine models are alike. If your machine is not identical to the authors, your results WILL BE different. Any recipe that does not identify the specific brand/model of the machine used, plus all settings and times (including loaf size) the end result will be questionable. This is probably why the previous replies vary so wildly.
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Bread machine banana bread generally involves less work & steps than an oven-baked banana bread. A bread machine will mix the ingredients for you and bake the banana bread for you in the same machine. In contrast, an oven-baked banana bread involves more work & steps (i.e. you will need to mix the ingredients, pour into a bread pan and move to an oven).
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However, oven-baked banana breads are a little more forgiving as you can stir more gently if needed (and thus less crushed fruit or shattered chocolate chips). In addition, oven-baked banana breads will not have a bread machine mixing paddle “hole” in the bottom. For oven-baked banana bread recipes, please visit our Easy Banana Bread Variations section.
In order to make bread machine banana bread, you need to use the Quick Bread setting. Don’t be fooled by setting names like Quick, Rapid or Express (as these settings are often used for very rapid baking and are not used for quick breads). Unfortunately, setting names can vary between bread machine manufacturers. Therefore, you must check your bread machine’s instructions/manual for the exact setting used for quick breads (i.e. banana bread) on your bread machine. However, be aware that some basic bread machines have only a very limited number of settings and may not have a quick bread setting.
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Optional – You can also turn this recipe into chocolate chip banana bread or blueberry banana bread. To make bread machine chocolate chip banana bread, you should add 3/4 of a cup of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips after the first mixing is finished and before the second/final mixing has started. I don’t like to use heavier regular chocolate chips because they tend to sink to the bottom of the batter (mini chips seem to spread out better). To make bread machine blueberry banana bread, you should add 3/4 of a cup of frozen blueberries after the first mixing is finished and before the second/final mixing has started. I like to use frozen blueberries because they seem to survive the bread machine mixing process better (less likely to burst) than fresh blueberries.
Oh my goodness this turned out DIVINE. I had some friends over, one of who is a bit of an instagram celebrity when it comes to baking, and she was very impressed! Absolutely delicious – I think next time I will try less sugar (as I used two black bananas so sweet enough), and try add some vanilla as someone suggested above. My only slight imperfection was that their seemed to be a pooling of choc chips in the corners. Will try do a swoop with a spatula prior to the baking part next time. Thanks
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Ok, this bread turned out so yummy…. however, my machine doesn’t work like most I guess. It’s a very basic West Bend one and has very few options. So I followed the recipe (except I didn’t have the walnuts so it got double chocolate chips!) and it ran through the rapid cycle which took 3 hrs on my machine. But it was still dough inside. So I baked it for another 25 mins at 400. I’ve decided that I’m still going to use this recipe for baking the bread though. It was so good.
Flour sticking to the sides of your bread machine banana bread? Unfortunately, bread machines have a harder time mixing moister quick bread recipes (versus drier sandwich bread dough). Therefore, after the first mixing cycle has fully stopped (and before the second & final mixing cycle has begun), I like to scrape the sides of the bread pan with a flexible silicon spatula (not a metal spatula). This loosens any flour that may be sticking to the sides of the bread pan (because a bread machine mixing “paddle” doesn’t quite reach the sides of the bread pan). For safety purposes, I do not scrape the sides of the bread pan when the mixing blade is moving. In addition, people should not stick their hands inside bread machines. Moreover, people should always wear oven mitts when dealing with a bread machine because the bread pan & bread machine interior can get quite hot.
If the top center of the bread looks too moist when you take it out of the bread machine, you can try the classic baking “toothpick test”. Gently push a toothpick/chopstick/skewer into the top of the bread and see if any batter sticks to the toothpick/chopstick/skewer. Make sure to wear oven gloves because the bread pan and bread machine will still be hot. If batter is sticking to the toothpick/chopstick/skewer then it hasn’t completely cooked. Place the bread loaf pan back into the still warm bread machine for another 5 minutes. After the 5 minutes, remove the bread pan and test the banana bread again with a toothpick/chopstick/skewer. FYI – Given variability in banana sizes, banana breads tend to have more moistness variability than many other recipes. Moreover, since most bread machines turn off automatically after a specified time and you can not adjust the baking temperature, they are little less flexible than ovens in dealing with baking “variances”. Thus the need to use the toothpick test if the banana bread top looks too moist (or you can skip the toothpick test and just leave the banana bread in the still warm bread machine for an extra 5 minutes if the top looks a little too moist).
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I have made this bread several times. The results have been great each time, and it taste just like a cake. I’ve received positive reviews about this bread from others. My only suggestion is to add the chips after the liquid ingredients, as they melted when I added them with the dry ingredients the first time I made this bread. The bread came out dark, but it was still good.
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