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How To Know When Banana Bread Is Done 

How To Know When Banana Bread Is Done: Full Guide (2023)

Last Updated on February 3, 2023 by Lori Walker

Baking banana bread initially became famous during the Great Depression when people looked for ways to use their overripe bananas. 

And during the pandemic, there was a more than 50% increase in web searches as Americans were looking for many ways to bake banana bread.

So, how do we know when banana bread is done? Here are five ways to help you achieve a perfectly baked banana bread next time.

5 Ways To Know If Banana Bread Is Done

close up shot of Banana Bread

1. Use A Thermometer

A digital thermometer is the most reliable way to know if the banana bread is done. The baked bread should read between 200°F to 205°, while gluten-free quick breads should be 205°F to 210°F. 

But to achieve this result, you must set your oven based on what your banana recipe calls for. Most banana bread recipes have an average baking time of about an hour, with oven temperatures ranging from 325°F to 350°F [1]

For more accuracy, use one external oven thermometer and another one that you can hang at the oven’s center rack for its internal temperature while baking.

2. Try the Toothpick Method

Fortunately, if you make banana bread with no extras like adding chocolate chips or walnuts, you can do a toothpick test. Test at least two to three points around the center to check if the banana bread is done.

It should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs. If you find streaks of uncooked batter, then you should bake the banana bread longer.

You can substitute the toothpick with a wooden skewer or thin-blade knife.

3. Do A Poke Test

Poking the banana bread loaf is another way of checking the bread without a thermometer or toothpick. This poke test only requires your fingertips, and you must be careful because you may be doing it while the banana bread is still hot.

Gently poke the bread with a finger and observe whether it bounces back or leaves a finger imprint on the surface. It is done if the bread bounces back, but if it leaves a dent, it needs more cooking time.

4. Look Over The Sides 

You can also check if the banana bread is fully baked by checking over the sides. The batter sets and tightens up

when exposed to a proper temperature based on a chosen banana bread recipe. 

Sometimes the bread pulls away from the sides of the loaf pan while it bakes, but not always. A quick bread does not always pull away from the sides of the baking pan. 

It may indicate a fully baked banana bread, but checking the insides works best.

5. Do A Visual Test

The natural sugars found in bananas and the brown sugar or another sweetener in the recipe contribute to the color of the banana bread. 

It usually has a deep golden brown appearance. But the visual test would be unreliable if you’re making chocolate banana bread because there would be so much browning in this baked good.

In addition, even after the color becomes golden, there is still a possibility that the inside of the banana bread is still undercooked.

Read: What Are Some Ways To Tell When Flan Is Done?

How To Fix Undercooked Banana Bread?

You can fix slightly under-baked banana bread by cutting it into slices and cooking them in the toaster oven. You can also turn it into French toast with a little butter and top it with fresh fruit. 

Another remedy is to discard the undercooked sections and cut off the baked parts into cubes and make a trifle or snack on them.

Is Banana Bread Supposed to Be Soft Inside?

freshly baked banana bread

No, banana bread is not supposed to be too soft inside. It should be fluffy, moist, and slightly crumbly. 

“For example, bananas are rich in potassium and vitamin B6. Banana bread made with these fruits contains a good amount of these nutrients.”

– Jillian Kubala, Registered Dietician 

Let it cool first, and avoid cutting through freshly baked banana bread while it’s hot. 

Also Read: Top 10 Cakes That Aren’t Too Sweet

Tips & Tricks When Cooking Banana Bread

  • Preheat the oven based on your desired temperature and prepare other tools like an instant-read thermometer and light-colored loaf pans.
  • Use ripe bananas when making banana bread as it incorporates a sweeter flavor and prevents it from having a gummy texture [2].
  • Bake banana bread based on accuracy because adding too much flour makes your bread dry, or you may have a wet batter caused by inaccuracy.
  • Use a thermometer, thin-bladed knife, or cake tester to check if the banana bread is already done.
  • Let the banana bread cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing.

FAQs

Why is the center of my banana bread not cooked?

The undercooked center of banana bread is because you didn’t bake it long enough. Many factors contribute to the baking time, like the oven’s temperature, baking pans, too many wet ingredients, or even substituting honey for sugar.

Find out why the center of your cake is not cooked here.

Should banana bread be gooey in the middle?

No, banana bread should not be gooey in the middle. It indicates an under-baked banana bread that needed more time to cook.

But why does the middle of your banana bread sink?

Can you rebake undercooked banana bread? 

Yes, you can rebake undercooked banana bread. Cover the top and sides with aluminum foil and pop the banana bread back into the oven for another 10 to 20 minutes. Monitor it closely to avoid burning it. 

But can you use milk chocolate chips in your banana bread instead of semi sweet ones?  

In A Nutshell

  • You can check if the banana bread is done by testing the inside of the quick bread using a thermometer, toothpick, or a thin-blade knife. 
  • A digital thermometer is the most accurate method of checking if the banana bread is done. However, you can also use the toothpick if you’re not going to add any extras to your bread.
  • The bake time is just a recipe recommendation, but it varies depending on your baking pans, oven temperature, and ingredients.
  • Banana bread baking requires patience and a lot of practice.

References:

  1. https://greatist.com/eat/banana-bread-tips 
  2. https://www.southernliving.com/food/fruits/banana/when-is-a-banana-too-ripe
Lori Walker

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