If you have a problem with a banana bread recipe, please make sure that you are following the recipe exactly. You will need to make sure that you are inputting the correct bread machine settings, using the exact ingredient measurements (i.e. don’t eyeball the measurements versus using a measuring cup), using the exact ingredients called for in the recipe (i.e. baking soda/powder versus yeast or all purpose flour versus bread flour), etc. Please don’t “wing” things with recipes unless you are willing to live with your experiments!
Some basic bread machine models only have a limited number of settings. These models may not have a quick bread setting which is designed for recipes that use faster rising baking soda/powder versus slow rising yeast. If your bread machine lacks a quick bread setting then the banana bread might burn (as the other settings generally have longer baking cycles). They are geared towards yeast breads (i.e. sandwich breads) that don’t rise as quickly as baking soda/powder breads (i.e. banana bread).
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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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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.
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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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I’m SO happy with this recipe. Have tried others that didn’t cook all the way through. But this turned out fluffy and moist! My substitutions worked out great- packed brown sugar and Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free baking flour. I was nervous about not using bread flour but it turned out wonderfully on the cake setting for 1:40. Will be making again! Only thing I’ll slightly tweak next time is opening up my bread machine during mixing to scrape some of the flour off the sides to make sure it all incorporates since I had a little bit of flour on the sides of the bread. Not a big deal at all though, still very tasty! Thank you.
Also be aware that some people go beyond just scraping the sides of the bread pan in order to avoid any leftover flour sticking to the sides of their finished banana bread. They will first mix all of the ingredients by hand in a mixing bowl and then add it to the bread machine bread pan (versus adding all of the ingredients to the bread pan and letting the bread machine mix everything). While this is an extra step, premixing the ingredients greatly reduces the potential for any unwanted small flour “clumps” and/or flour sticking to the sides of the finished banana bread. After hand mixing the ingredients, you should just follow the rest of the recipe instructions (i.e. enter proper bread machine settings and so on). However, always remember to add the ingredients (or hand mixed batter) to the bread pan when the bread pan is out of the bread machine and the bread machine is unplugged.
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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.