It’s annoying when you take the time to bake something and it doesn’t turn out perfectly. You want to enjoy your baked goods with your family to the fullest, but it’s hard to do that if they’re burned.
Is your banana bread a bit burnt? Why does this happen sometimes, and what can you do about it?
Read on to learn about why banana bread burns on the outside. You’ll learn about the techniques you can utilize that will help you to prevent this from happening again.
1 – Baking at the Wrong Temperature
The most likely reason why your banana bread is burning is that you’re baking it at the wrong temperature. Sometimes people mistakenly set the temperature higher than it should be on the oven.
Most recipes ask you to bake the bread at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Some might choose to use higher temperatures, but it depends on the recipe.
You want to use the exact temperature that is suggested by the recipe that you’re following. If you’re making plain banana bread in a normal-sized bread pan, it’s likely that you need to bake the bread at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Trying to bake the bread using a higher heat setting will lead to bad results. It might burn when it’s baked too fast.
Avoid this at all costs and be careful to set the heat appropriately. Always double-check the recipe to ensure that you’re doing things right.
2 – Problems With Your Oven
Sometimes people encounter issues with their ovens, too. It could be that your oven is having problems that are making it hard to bake things without them burning.
Does your oven have hot spots? It’s more common for ovens to experience issues such as this than you may realize.
There might be certain spots where your oven gets hotter than it’s supposed to. In these spots, the bread might bake faster than usual.
For instance, the bread might burn if you place it to the left of the oven instead of directly in the center. You might need to have your oven checked out to see if there are any issues.
You can easily check to see if your oven has hot spots by lining the rack with white bread. Toast the bread and see if some of the slices of bread come out burned while others are just lightly toasted.
It might mean that you’ll need to have your oven serviced by a professional. In this situation, you didn’t do anything wrong, but you need to take action so you can bake things properly moving forward.
3 – Problems With the Bread Pan
Using an old bread pan might be to blame as well. Sometimes banana bread will burn when you use a pan that’s not in good shape.
Perhaps you’re using a decades-old pan that’s made out of materials that heat up too fast. It doesn’t necessarily have to be that the bread pan is in bad shape either.
Bread pans that are made out of certain types of materials are known to heat up faster. For instance, a dark aluminum bread pan is going to heat up faster than many other types of pans.
The pan material is going to play a role in how long the bread takes to bake. Many experts say that the simplest way to keep burning issues to a minimum is to use silicone-based baking molds.
You can certainly still use glass or aluminum bread pans and get good results, though. It’s just important to pay attention to the bread and to avoid baking it for too long.
Some pans might require you to check on the bread more often. Once you get the process down, you might dial in the perfect amount of time that it takes to bake banana bread in the pan that you own.
The recipe might say that the banana bread needs to be baked for sixty minutes, but perhaps two or three minutes less baking time is appropriate in your situation.
You can always take the bread out of the oven to check it. Check to see if it’s done by sticking a toothpick in the middle.
If the toothpick comes out clean, that means that it’s done cooking. You can also check the banana bread using a cake thermometer.
The thermometer should read 205 degrees Fahrenheit when the bread is done baking. It’ll be 200 degrees Fahrenheit on the edges.
4 – Not Using Aluminum Foil
You can protect the top of the banana bread from burning by using aluminum foil. It’s not good to cover the bread the entire time that it’s baking, though.
Instead, you should cover the banana bread halfway through the process. If it needs to bake for sixty minutes, you can cover it with foil for the final thirty minutes.
Slide the rack out a bit so you can cover the banana bread pan with foil. Create a tent with the foil and make sure that the bread has enough room.
Doing this makes it so the top of the bread won’t brown quite as much. It’ll still turn out brown, but it won’t be crispy on top.
You won’t have to worry about the top of the bread burning if you use foil. It’s the simplest way to keep burning issues at bay.
What to Do With Burnt Banana Bread
What if your banana bread is burnt and you don’t want to eat it? Should you just throw it away?
It depends on whether you think it’s worth trying to save or not. In some cases, it might be fine to use it for other purposes.
If it’s badly burnt, it might be better to throw it out. You don’t have to force yourself to try to eat something that’s not appetizing.
You could try to use the burnt pieces to make bread pudding. This might turn out fine if the bread is just a bit dry and burnt.
Some people might still enjoy using burnt banana bread pieces as a topping on ice cream, too. It might add some texture and flavor to a bowl of vanilla ice cream.
Just know that you don’t have to force yourself to use burnt bread. It’s fine to throw it out and try to do better the next time you bake it.
Now you know more about what causes banana bread to burn on top. You also know about reasons why it might burn in general.
There are steps you can take to keep this from happening. Always use the right temperature when baking banana bread so you can get the right results.
Consider using aluminum foil to protect the bread starting at the halfway point in the baking process. It should make it less likely that you’ll experience any issues with it turning out far too crispy.
You might need to get your oven checked out if it’s having issues. It could even be necessary to buy a better bread pan.
Troubleshoot the situation and figure out the best route to take. You should be able to enjoy banana bread with your family without having to worry about burning it once you figure things out.
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.