Alton Brown's Addition For Perfect Banana Bread

Homemade banana bread is a comfort food. All you have to do is look at the millions of TikTok and Instagram videos that people posted during the COVID lockdown to realize how this baked good has become a staple in many a household, and for good reason. Banana bread is an excellent way to use up overly ripe bananas rather than give into the temptation to pitch them. Kitchn concurs, noting Google trends showed just how frequently bakers of all levels were searching for a banana bread recipe during our quarantine era.

It might surprise you to learn, according to King Arthur Baking Company, that banana bread first made its debut during the Great Depression when households simply didn't waste a crumb of food. That, along with the introduction of mass produced baking powder and baking soda, led to the creation of our much beloved banana bread. King Arthur Baking Company goes on to explain while banana bread recipes have several base ingredients in common such as, "bananas, sweetener, a chemical leavener, some fat, and flour," that's where the commonality ends. 

Alton Brown notes on his website that there are over eight million banana bread recipes, and naturally, Brown's version offers the perfect addition to outshine all others.

Add some toasted oats

As you might expect, for Alton Brown, the texture of banana bread is a high priority. He states on his site that most banana bread recipes lead to "mushy" and flavorless end products. That's why he adds toasted oats to his version of this baked good. Of course, if your banana bread is "gooey," Baking How says it is likely undercooking and simply needs a little more time in the oven. But for Brown, oats are also added nutrients. Brown writes of his banana bread recipe, "'s darned nutritious to boot....As for the oats, don't even think about using the instant kind. Only old-fashioned rolled oats will do here."

Why oats? Oats are a great filler, providing healthy bulk that keeps your satiated. This addition is actually very similar in concept to a 193s recipe King Arthur Baking Company shares. The cooking site notes wheat bran, which was not expensive, was added to banana bread recipes to create a hearty bread that was both flavorful and could fill the belly on the cheap. 

As Healthline points out, oats are also great at soaking up moisture, so if you are worried about the mushy affect of bananas, the oats do double duty in Brown's recipe.