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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Banana bread may be served at tea time or at breakfast, although there is no rule as to when you may eat it. This banana bread recipe turns out really well in a bread maker and it's a great way to to get rid of overripe bananas sitting in the bowl. In our family nobody touches bananas if the skin has any sign of black. I guess we all worry that they are spoiled. So, rather than wasting them, into the bread maker they go.

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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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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.

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