For Banana Bread, Too Much Of The Star Ingredient Is A Huge Mistake

Is it possible to have too much of a good thing? When it comes to the star ingredient in banana bread, the answer is yes. Banana bread recipes typically ask you to use overripe bananas so that they're easier to mush. This means it's tempting to toss all your bananas into the mix when you're ready to bake, to avoid food waste. But if you add too much of the fruit into your batter, your bread could turn out mushy, heavy, and wet. So, it's a good idea to always stick to the recipe's instructions.

But why is this such a problem? Although bananas bring a sweet flavor to bread, they also bind the other ingredients together and add moisture. This is why bananas can work as egg replacements in some vegan recipes. It is also why they can be swapped for other moisturizing ingredients like applesauce, canned pumpkin, silken tofu, or mashed sweet potato. 

So, when you incorporate extra fruit into your loaf, you're really doubling down on moisture. To keep yours feeling light, make sure to nail the banana-to-flour ratio.

Too many bananas can lead to a damp loaf

For a good rule of thumb when you're making banana bread, use two cups of all-purpose flour for every two cups of mashed bananas. Keep in mind that, depending on the size of your bananas, you may need more or less of the fruits, so always mash them up before measuring. In general, four bananas will yield two cups once they've been smashed, although you may get the same amount from three larger fruits. When you're at the grocery store, aim for buying ones that are about seven or eight inches in length, which is the size of a medium banana.

Since the banana-to-flour ratio is crucial, it's equally as important that you use the correct amount of flour. When measuring by volume, use the spoon and level method: gently spoon your flour into a measuring cup, then use the flat side of a knife to scrape off any extra. If you pack flour into the cup, you will probably end up with too much, which could leave your bread feeling dry. If your recipe includes ingredient weights, measure your flour out using a kitchen scale for the most accurate results.

If you end up using too much banana but haven't started baking yet, you may be able to save your mix by adding a few tablespoons of flour to balance it out. But to stay on the safe side, be careful to read your recipe's mashed banana measurements.