A freshly baked banana bread can take some of us back to our earlier years. For whatever reason, banana bread is one of the classic comfort foods everybody should try.
For beginner bakers who want to make homemade banana bread, you might be wondering. Can you add bananas to banana bread mix?
The answer is yes! Adding fresh bananas to the banana bread mix will give your finished product a richer banana flavor.
Read on to know the best way to add bananas to a pre-made banana bread mix.
Take note that overripe bananas give the best level of sweetness to banana bread. By overripe, I mean those that are already mushy on the inside. Initially, you can tell a banana is overripe if it has a partly or entirely black peel.
It’s possible to mistake an overripe banana as rotten or vice-versa. Just know that molds and unpleasant odor are clear signs that a banana has gone bad and should be immediately thrown out.
There’s no need to worry if the bananas you have at home are not ripe enough. There are some ways to ripen them quickly, which I’ll discuss in depth later.
Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to make banana bread using a banana bread mix and how to add bananas along the process.
The ingredients you’ll need are the following:
- 2 bananas
- 1 large egg
- ⅓ cup water or milk
Allow your oven to preheat to 350°F or 175°C for 15—20 minutes. While your oven is preheating in the background, you can start working on your ingredients.
First off, mash your overripe bananas in a bowl. You can use the back of a fork or spoon to do this.
After mashing the bananas, you can move on to the large egg. In a separate bowl, lightly beat the egg for a few seconds using a fork or a whisk until the white and yolk are combined. A lightly beaten egg should have a pale yellow color all throughout.
Grease the loaf pan with oil or butter so you can easily unmold the bread without it sticking to the pan later. It’s also advisable to sprinkle the pan with some flour to ensure the bread comes out smoothly.
Aside from the smooth removal from the pan, greasing and flouring will also form a thin, even crust on the sides of the bread.
If you don’t want to grease and flour your pan, you can opt to use parchment paper. This way, you’ll only have to lift up the paper to get the freshly baked banana bread out of the pan.
An 8 x 4-inch pan is just the right fit for a 390-gram banana bread mix. This should be good for 12 servings.
Mix the lightly beaten eggs, mashed bananas, and ⅓ cup water/milk, and then add the banana bread mix.
It’s easier to mix everything together when you add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients; Furthermore, this prevents you from overmixing the batter. Overmixing can sabotage your banana bread’s texture, making it chewy instead of soft and fluffy.
After you’re done mixing the batter, you can pour it onto the greased and lightly floured pan and let the oven do its job. Give the bread some 45—50 minutes to bake.
When it’s time to check if the banana bread is done, do the toothpick test.
Stick a toothpick to the center of the bread. The toothpick should come out clean if the bread is already baked. If many crumbs stick after you pull out the toothpick, then the bread needs more time in the oven.
You can check again after 10 minutes, as banana bread can have an extended baking time of up to 60 minutes. The baking time depends on how moist the bananas used are.
You can pull the banana bread out of the oven once it’s fully baked. However, it’s best to let it sit for 20 minutes to make sure the inside solidifies and won’t be gooey in texture.
Afterward, you can get it out of the pan, but I suggest you give it more time to cool down for 5 minutes or so. The longer you let it rest, the better.
As I mentioned before, there are ways to ripen a banana quickly. This is based on an experiment done by Dr. Kate Biberdorf, a chemist, professor, and science book author.
Ripening will maximize the sweetness of the bananas, but the following methods require a certain amount of time and equipment. If you can’t afford to do any of these, you might have to settle for some more sugar and salt in your banana bread recipe.
Baking bananas in an oven provides the best and most reliable results.
First, you have to pierce tiny holes through the banana peels. You can do this using a fork. The purpose of these tiny holes is to allow the gases coming off of the banana to escape so that the bananas won’t retain them and not explode by any chance.
Place the bananas on the tray and into the oven heated at 300°F for 30 minutes.
The bananas will come out mushy and sweet, just as you need them to be.
In this method, we’ll use some heat from the microwave to bring out the desirable sweetness of the bananas.
Place the bananas in the microwave for 30 seconds. After this, flip them on the opposite side and microwave them for another 30 seconds. This is to ensure that the bananas will ripen evenly.
After a minute in the microwave, the bananas should be mushy, sweet enough, and ready to be an ingredient in your next banana bread.
The slowest out of the three is the paper bag method.
Simply put bananas in a paper bag and secure the bag with tape. Taping the bag all over is necessary to prevent the ethylene molecules from escaping.
The bananas will absorb these molecules and break down acids present within, resulting in a softer and sweeter fruit.
You might have to wait for around two days for the bananas to reach a state suitable for banana bread.
Can you add bananas to banana bread mix? Yes, you should. Doing so will give your banana bread an authentic and rich banana flavor.
For best results, add overripe bananas to the mix. If you think the bananas you have are unripe, you can try the methods I provided above on how to ripen them quickly.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.