The Telltale Signs Of An Under-Baked Banana Bread

Banana bread is one of the best baked goods out there — you can have it in the morning with a cup of coffee, or you could have a slice for dessert, perhaps paired with a scoop of ice cream. It's also the perfect vessel to play around with various additions, such as nuts or chocolate chips. But before you can play around with different variations of banana bread, you need to know how to tell if the banana bread loaf is under-baked to avoid ruining your hard work — and to make sure you actually get to enjoy a slice. Luckily, there's a telltale sign.

When you take the banana bread out of the oven, insert a toothpick into the center; if the toothpick comes out wet, then the loaf is underdone and will be gooey on the inside — which is certainly not what we want. When the toothpick should come out mostly clean but with a few crumbs, then you'll know that the banana bread is perfectly done. Or, you could use the food thermometer method to check the doneness — a cooked-through banana bread will register an internal temperature between 200 degrees to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. If you're worried about overcooking it, you can always take it out of the oven before the cooking timer is up to check on it with the toothpick method — whatever it takes to get that moist and delicious loaf.

Other tips for making the perfect banana bread

Knowing how to tell if the banana bread is under-baked is essential in making the pastry, but there are also other tips you can keep in mind to make sure that your loaf turns out just right. You may have heard this before, but it's worth repeating: Make sure to use very ripe bananas. This is essential because riper bananas are sweeter and will lead to a better flavor. Plus, ripe bananas are softer, which helps us achieve that moist texture that is so tasty.

Additionally, it's important to avoid over-mixing the batter — if you over-mix, then too much gluten may develop. The result of too much gluten? A banana bread with a chewy, dense texture. As you likely know from experience enjoying banana bread, it should be light and moist. Then, after the banana bread has finished baking in the oven, you need to pay attention to the cooling process. First, let it cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes; after that, you can remove it from the pan and let it finish cooling on a wire rack.

If you want to see if these tips work, you may want to try out Tasting Table's recipe for brown butter banana bread or olive oil chocolate chip banana bread.