All bread machines are different, so it's very important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for the model you own in order to ensure success. Also, make sure the bread machine is ready to go before you start mixing. Once the wet and dry ingredients are combined in the pan, it needs to be mixed and baked right away. Many have a setting for quick bread, or some people use their machine's rapid bread program or manual settings. At the end of the cycle, you can always use a toothpick to check the doneness of your bread and bake it a little longer if it's not thoroughly baked.
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If you are still having trouble finding the quick bread setting, check your bread machine manual for details regarding the cake setting on your machine. Some bread machines have a cake setting that states that they can be used for quick breads (and the mixing & baking will last roughly for 1 hour 40-50 minutes). However, other bread machines have a cake setting that is not designed for quick breads. For example, my bread machine (Sunbeam) has a cake setting (that lasts for 2 hours 50 minutes) and a quick bread setting (that lasts for 1 hour 40 minutes). Therefore, this recipe would probably not work well with the cake setting on my machine. I know this can be super confusing… but always read your bread machine manual and look for the specific setting designed for “quick breads” (that use baking soda/powder).
I have been throwing all my ripened bananas in the freezer now for well over 2 years. When I need to use banana, I just go to the freezer and pull out what I need. They thaw ridiculously fast and I think the texture of a frozen banana is so much easier to work with than a ripened banana that has not been frozen. I wish I would have known about this ten years ago. I have no idea how many bananas I have tossed in the garbage.
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Same thing happened to my first loaf. I thought I had done something wrong. I suspect bread machines vary. Mine heats while the ingredients are mixing. I suspect that is why the chocolate chips melted. My loaf was underdone and caved in the middle. As if a hunk of mashed banana didn’t mix completely. I’m really assuming the castropy happened because of the bread machine. It did smell amazing while cooking. I wanted to throw my loaf out as well but hate wasting food. Simply; I gave it to someone else. Made it again the old fashioned way… In the oven. Better result.
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Homemade banana bread will last only 1 or 2 days on the counter (and it will spoil even faster in a hot & humid environment). After baking and when the banana bread is completely cooled, you can store it on the counter in a large resealable plastic bag or an airtight container. You can also place a paper towel around the bread in order to absorb any extra moisture.
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.
Since the batter for quick bread doesn't require kneading and is best with minimal mixing, you may need to adjust the mixing setting. This is especially true if your bread machine doesn't have a program for quick bread. For example, some machines have a "dough" setting to mix and a separate "bake" setting. Mixing should require just 3 to 5 minutes.
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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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Optional – If you want to make bread machine banana nut bread, you can add 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts to this recipe after the first bread machine mixing cycle and before the second mixing (final mixing). I like to add the chopped walnuts after the first mixing and before the final (second) mixing in order to minimize any mixing “breakage” of the chopped walnuts.