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.
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.
Excellent! I could tell from the recipe that there would not be enough filling without the walnuts and since I planned to omit them I too doubled the cinnamon/sugar mixture. When baked and thickly sliced the texture of this bread is smooth and soft the sticky cinnamon-spicy sweetness oozes out and it creates the perfect ratio of bread to filling. The kids slathered their slices in homemade apple butter a friend gave us for Christmas but even plain this stuff is heavenly!
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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!
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Banana bread is a quick bread recipe, which means you don't add yeast. Instead, baking powder and baking soda are the leavening agents used to cause a faster rise than required for yeasted bread. Using the bread machine makes for an almost completely hands-off process with very little mess: almost everything gets mixed right in the pan you bake it in.
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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.
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I’m a little surprised so many people had a hard time with this or it didn’t turn out right for them. I’m fairly new to making bread, but I followed the recipe exactly (minus being a tad shy on walnuts), and I didn’t have any problems. I had a little “dust” on one end and side of the loaf where some dry ingredients didn’t get all the way mixed in, but it brushed off and didn’t seem to hurt anything. I didn’t necessarily LOVE this recipe, but it was good. It may just be my bread machine too, but this had a bit more of a crust to the outsides than what I would want on a banana bread. It was my first time making quick bread in my machine too though. That being said, the inside was soft and delicious. I didn’t have any problem with chocolate chips melting and getting mixed into the bread turning it brown like one person mentioned, and the banana taste was a tad mild, but definitely there, for me. I would make this again, but hope I can find a way to soften up the outside to make it more to my liking. It was really easy to make with these instructions though.
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.