How to Make Banana Bread (Recipes Kids Should Know Before Leaving Home)
Not only is banana bread technically a quick bread, which makes it a loaf of bread that is quick to make, it’s basically the perfect quick bread. And, knowing how to make it is a great skill to have! That’s why we think it’s a recipe kids should know before they leave home.
What is a “quick bread”? They are breads that are made with leavening agents (the stuff that makes bread rise!) that are not yeast or eggs. Other examples of quick breads include muffins, biscuits, pancakes, cornbread, and scones.
As we mentioned, throwing together a loaf of banana bread is quite simple, but we thought we would share a few tips that will help you as you learn how to make banana bread. A lot of these tips apply to the making of the other quick breads, too, so keep them in mind next time you whip up a batch of pancakes or muffins!
Banana Bread Baking Tips:
1. As with many baking recipes, once you add flour to your recipe you want to stir as little as possible. Flour contains gluten, which gives bread structure and makes it magical. However, if gluten is overworked it can make the final product tough and chewy. When you add the dry ingredients to the wet, just stir the batter long enough so that everything is evenly mixed and there aren’t dry spots. But as soon as you hit that magic moment walk away from the spoon!
2. Some banana bread recipes don’t use buttermilk or yogurt, but we like to include one of them because it contributes to creating a light and fluffy texture and can also add depth of flavor. If you don’t have plain yogurt or buttermilk on hand, we share an easy substitute in the recipe below.
3. Banana bread, like many quick breads, is a great canvas for all kinds of mix-ins! Chopped nuts, coconut, and chocolate chips are a great addition.
4. For banana bread, mashing the bananas by hand makes for a better texture in the batter and the bread.
Banana Bread Recipe
How to make banana bread if you’re just learning to bake and cook.
- 2 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 medium/large or 4 small ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup yogurt or buttermilk (if you don’t have either on hand, put 1/2 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice into your 1/3 cup measuring cup, then fill the rest with milk and let sit for five minutes before adding to the recipe)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Optional add-ins (add about 1/2 cup each of whatever you are using): Chopped nuts, shredded coconut, chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Grease a bread loaf pan with butter, covering the entire inside surface of the pan.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. (These are the “dry” ingredients.)
- In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter in the microwave (30-45 seconds on high should do it). Add the bananas to the melted butter and mash using a potato masher, pastry blender or fork. Add the sugar, yogurt, and vanilla and mix very well. (These are the “wet” ingredients.)
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Using a spatula gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring just long enough to fully mix everything together, but no longer than that. If you are adding nuts, coconut, and/or chocolate chips, add those in when you’re about halfway through mixing the dry and wet ingredients together.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 45 – 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into in the center of the loaf comes out clean. The cooking time will probably be closer to 60 minutes, but start checking for doneness around the 45-minute mark.
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