I know how frustrating it is to spend a good chunk of your time mixing banana bread batter, only for your end product to be dry and crispy.
Like you, I know banana bread is supposed to be moist and tasty. This poses the question, why is my banana bread dry? And what can I do to make it moist?
That’s what I’d like to share with you today!
This post covers everything you need to know about the reasons behind dry banana bread and how to address each one.
Before we can solve the problem, we need to know its causes. So, let’s take a closer look at the common mistakes of making banana bread.
Like other baked goodies, flour gives volume and structure. Without it, the banana bread would crumble. However, adding too much flour makes the bread dry.
So, you need to keep an eye on the ratio between the banana and the flour. To do that, avoid scooping the flour straight from the container into the mixing bowl.
Let me tell you a baking technique to ensure you don’t add excessive flour to the mix. It goes this way:
- Begin by scooping the flour into a measuring cup using a spoon.
- Once it reaches the brim, level the flour by sliding a butter knife across the cup.
- Make sure you don’t waste excess flour by sweeping it back into the container.
Known as the spoon and level method, this baking technique removes unnecessary flour.
Using the right amount of oil or butter is another way to make moist banana bread. So, make it a habit to use kitchen scales to measure their amount.
While these ingredients can offset the bread’s dryness, they produce slightly different results.
With oil, you can expect your banana bread to be more tender and moist than with butter. That’s thanks to the oil’s liquid state.
Not to mention that blending the oil gradually in small portions into the mix produces a smoother texture. Simply put, mixing it with other ingredients slowly yet thoroughly eliminates banana bits.
So, use oil if you want banana bread that could almost melt in your mouth.
You can also use butter to make moist banana bread. While the structure may not be as firm as oil-based bread, what I like about butter is it makes the crumb chewy.
On top of that, you’d enjoy the remaining banana bits using this ingredient. Plus, the bread isn’t as greasy with butter compared to oil.
Some people fall into the trap of making do with unripe bananas when making banana bread. Apart from the sour taste of green bananas, they leave huge chunks and deliver less moisture to the bread.
On the other hand, the 80% moisture content of ripe bananas is just about enough to make the bread adequately moist.
Now, if you’re wondering how many ripe bananas is enough, I suggest you use two to three mid-sized bananas on an 8-inch by 4-inch loaf pan.
Likewise, you can use overly ripe bananas, so don’t ditch them. Known as black bananas, using them makes the bread a lot more flavorful.
So, you hear your oven beep, yet you ignore it and let the bread sit on the oven rack for several more minutes.
Doing so reduces the banana bread’s moisture because the oven’s temperature remains high even if you turn it off. As a result, the residual heat sucks the bread’s remaining water, making the loaf dry.
So, you should take the banana bread out of the oven right away once it’s cooked. By doing so, you’re giving it enough time to cool down.
If you don’t want to rely on your oven’s timer, you can manually check the bread’s doneness. Simply insert a wooden skewer into the center of the banana bread. You’ll know the bread is cooked when only a few crumbs stick on the skewer as you pull it out.
After that, let the banana bread cool completely at room temperature before wrapping it with plastic wrap. It’ll prevent condensation that could lead to mold formation.
So, you’re done baking the bread, yet it lacks moisture. Do you throw it away?
Of course, not!
Sure, you can’t retake the steps you saw earlier, but you can make the bread moist by using a few kitchen items and ingredients, or you can repurpose it into something you and your family will enjoy.
Yes, you heard it right! You can use a clean and damp kitchen towel to moisten the bread.
However, this method is only applicable to freshly-baked banana bread. So, as soon as you take the loaf from the oven, cover it with a damp kitchen cloth.
As a result, it’ll help trap the steam from the bread and increase the moisture level.
If the bread is no longer hot and steaming, use a combination of water and sugar instead of a damp cloth. Also known as simple syrup, pouring this combo into the banana bread adds moisture.
So, boil equal amounts of sugar and water until the granules liquefy. Using a skewer, create holes in the banana bread and pour the syrup into them.
Let the syrup cool before storing the bread in an airtight food container. You may serve it after a few hours.
Food repurposing is one way to prevent dry banana bread from ending up in the trash bag.
The banana’s sweetness makes this bread a good candidate for cake balls. So do it by crushing the bread and adding milk to moisten it.
With disposable kitchen gloves on, roll the crushed bread into balls. You can also sprinkle some sugar crystals before serving them.
However, if you love having frozen delights for dessert, turn the dry banana bread into ice cream. Begin by cutting it into small pieces before putting them in a food processor.
Add some milk and vanilla for extra creaminess and flavor. With an ice cream maker, freeze the mixture for at least 30 minutes.
Banana bread won’t dry overnight if you keep it at an ideal room temperature, which is around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, it could retain its moisture for days depending on where you’d store it.
For example, banana bread stored on the kitchen counter could remain moist for about 4 days. You just have to let it completely cool before you cover it with a paper towel.
Keeping the bread in the fridge may remain fresh for over a week. All you have to do is wrap it tightly with plastic wrap before storing it.
If you want to serve it, reheat it for 10 seconds using a microwave.
You may also store the banana loaf in the freezer. Similar to when you keep it in the fridge, wrap it with plastic, but this time do it several times.
You might also want to wrap it with aluminum foil. The freezer and the whole setup allow you to store the banana bread for at least three months.
So, why is my banana bread dry?
We saw that excessive flour, too little oil, unripe bananas, and insufficient cooling time make banana bread dry. However, doing the opposite helps make the loaf fluffy and moist.
We also covered what you can do with dry banana bread. You could moisten it using a damp cloth and simple syrup or repurpose it into something else. Either way, they help us save dry banana bread instead of putting it to waste.
Lastly, we learned that its ability to remain moist allows you and your loved ones to enjoy its fluffiness for days.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard.