Your banana bread just came out of the oven, it is warm, delicious and every bite makes you wish it would stay that good forever. While you could probably eat the entire loaf, that might not be the best idea!
So how should you store banana bread? Here are a few tips and tricks that you need to know in order to keep your perfect banana bread tasting amazing for days to come.
Ingredients for Banana Bread
Before thinking about how to store banana bread, it is important to assess the ingredients in the bread. Looking at the ingredients that go into the bread will actually help you determine how long the bread will last. See my post about storing common baking ingredients for more info about maximizing the freshness of the ingredients themselves.
Most of the ingredients in banana bread are standard to most quick breads (check out this post to learn more about quick breads in general). There is flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and spices as the dry ingredients and eggs, oil or butter, milk, ripe bananas and maybe an extract making up the list for the wet ingredients.
The wet ingredients are what you want to think about when considering shelf life as they contain the most moisture and therefore are more likely to spoil first.
One thing you want to be sure of when picking out ingredients is to find the most ripe bananas possible. You actually want to use bananas that are turning brown or already fairly brown.
As bananas ripen, the starches in the fruit will turn to sugar, making the bananas naturally sweeter and more ideal to go in your bread. The riper your bananas, the more flavorful your bread will be!
How To Ripen a Banana Quickly
If none of your bananas are very ripe, there are a few ways to speed up the ripening process. These techniques are much better than just waiting for a week (or more) for that banana to start turning brown!
The first method you can try is to place the banana on a sheet tray, still in the peel, and bake it at 300 degree F for about 15 minutes or until the banana has turned completely brown. Let the banana cool and then scoop out the banana and use it for your bread!
You can also try putting the bananas in a brown paper bag and close the bag. Bananas release ethylene as they ripen and being enclosed in a bag will trap the ethylene and help the banana ripen faster.
It may still take the banana a day or two to ripen in the bag but that’s much better than waiting a week or more!
Wrapping Banana Bread
After baking your banana bread, it is important to wrap it well in order to help keep it fresh. Always let your banana bread cool completely before wrapping it. You do not want to wrap a warm bread as the heat will be trapped, creating moisture on the outside of the bread which can lead to a soggy loaf.
Cool the bread well and then wrap in accordance with your storage method (read on to see how to wrap banana bread depending on where it will be stored).
How to Store Banana Bread
When choosing a method for storing banana bread, it all comes down to how quickly you think you’ll eat it. Let’s take a look at the best storage methods from shortest to longest life.
1 – Storing Banana Bread on the Counter
The ideal place to store most quick breads is right on your counter at room temperature. When kept on the counter, the bread will stay soft and moist, tasting as it did when it was first pulled out of the oven.
However, bread that is stored on the counter will only last for about 4 days. Since the bread is full of ripe bananas, it will be very moist. Moisture and the right (or wrong) air temperature around food can quickly lead to mold.
Keep an eye on your bread and be sure to check it or move it into the fridge after a few days. The best plan is probably just to eat it before this can happen- that shouldn’t be hard to do!
When storing banana bread on the counter, you should place the banana bread in a plastic storage container with a locking lid. This will allow the banana bread a little space to breathe and prevent it from becoming soggy (which can happen when wrapped in plastic wrap).
It is also a good idea to place a piece of paper towel or a napkin in the container with the bread. The napkin will absorb any excess moisture in the container and keep the bread fresh and mold free for longer!
2 – Storing Banana Bread in the Fridge
If you want to extend the shelf life of your banana bread, try storing it in the fridge. When you choose to store a banana bread in the fridge, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to keep the moisture of the bread inside the loaf.
Refrigerators tend to be very drying environments and you do not want the bread to dry out quickly. When wrapped correctly, the banana bread will last over a week.
When you take the banana bread out of the fridge to eat, you may want to microwave it for about 10 seconds or place it quickly in the toaster. Warming the bread up will restore it to the consistency that it had when it first came out of the oven- warm and soft. It will be simply irresistible!
3 – Storing Banana Bread in the Freezer
Banana bread freezes extremely well. In fact, anytime you make banana bread, you should always make more than one loaf with the intention of freezing the extra.
Wrap the banana bread in plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. The bread will last for up to three months! When you are ready to enjoy the bread, you can simply pull it out of the freezer the night before and let it thaw on the counter- it will be ready for you by morning!
If you want to eat your banana bread right away, take it out of the freezer and place it in the oven. Thaw for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. You can speed up the process by slicing the frozen bread and then heating the individual pieces.
The warm banana bread coming out of the oven will smell and taste just like the day you first baked it!
Best Uses For Banana Bread
Now that you have your banana bread stored properly, what exactly can you use all the bread for? While we love to eat banana bread plain, you can definitely top it with a wide array of delicious accoutrements.
Spread butter across the banana bread and drizzle it with honey. Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich using the banana bread. You can make a sweet and savory sandwich by topping the bread with pulled pork.
If the banana bread is coming to the end of its life (this can happen no matter how well you store the bread!), soak it in an egg and milk mix and fry it into French toast. In another post, I go over many more uses for leftover bread. As you can see, banana bread is incredibly versatile which gives you all the more reason to make extra!
After spending so much time making a perfect loaf of banana bread, you want to be sure you store it correctly. Use these tips to help keep your banana bread fresh as long as possible.
Be sure to double or triple your banana bread recipe as it is always good to have on hand! You can’t go wrong with extra banana bread.