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.
If you are preparing a banana bread treat for a brunch with friends, nowadays it’s best if you go gluten free, just in case. There is an increasing number of people that prefer to leave out gluten from their diet, and that is to be respected. In addition to that, may people now don’t consume animal products. Sometimes it’s because they have a specific dietary restriction, other times it’s because they rather not eat animal products.
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Indescribably delicious! I usually make banana bread by hand, so I was a touch skeptical about using the bread machine, but it came out dense and golden and smelled wonderful while baking. I began with the recipe Dee provided, then I added an extra banana, 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon, a splash of vanilla, and in lieu of nuts, a heaping tbsp. of poppy seeds. I also added 4 oz. of plain applesauce (one of those individual cups). I used a Breadman Rapid Deluxe machine, which does not allow you to stop and then bake. Instead, I used the 1 pound setting and the "fruit/nut bread" option. It takes about 3 hours and 15 minutes to produce the loaf, but it mixes and stops and mixes and stops: the actual baking part is about an hour long. The banana bread had a more cakelike than breadlike texture (due to the addition of the applesauce) and was very dense, but oh so good! I love the ease and convenience of this recipe and I will use it often. A word of caution: use a rubber spatula to scrape the corners during the mixing phase to integrate all of the flour (be careful of the machine's mixing paddle), or some of the dry ingredients may get stuck in the corners of the pan. Enjoy!
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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Select Sweet and Light settings on your machine and add raisins as per your manufacturer’s instructions. They can be added in with everything else. Start your bread machine. After the first kneading cycle is over, the bread should be smooth and stretchy. It should feel dry when you touch it. If necessary, add flour by the tablespoon to adjust the bread.