I realize "perfect" may be a little over-the-top, but I have been working on the baking step of this recipe for a LONG time... like years... and I have finally figured out how to make it do what I want! I don't know why it didn't hit me earlier... the difference is so simple and now seems so obvious.
I guess I should first say that "perfect" banana bread to me means a lightly browned outside and a soft and gooey inside. If you like darker banana bread with a drier center, this ain't your post.
Blueberry Banana Bread
- 3 mashed, ripe bananas (Tip: If you have ripe bananas but don't have time to make banana bread, peel your bananas and freeze them for later. Then all you have to do is thaw them when you're ready!)
- 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 3T milk
- 1 cup blueberries (optional)
Grease loaf pan (I used the four loaf pan for the recipe). Mix butter and sugar. Add eggs and bananas and mix. In separate bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt and add to banana mixture 1/3 at a time, mixing each time. Add milk, vanilla and blueberries and mix. Spread batter evenly between four sections of the loaf pan.
Three quick tips:
1. If you're using a darker pan like me, set the oven 25 degrees lower.
2. I like making four mini loaves as opposed to one large loaf because the bread cooks more evenly.
3. Use your convection oven if you have one- it makes everything cook so evenly! Just remember to set the convection 25 degrees lower than what the oven temperature calls for.
2. Bake for 28 minutes.
and #3... are you ready?! ....
3. BROIL FOR 3 MINUTES!!!
That's it! Yes... the exact same thing you do to finish off a casserole when you need the cheese to brown but don't want the inside to overcook works with banana bread. WHY oh WHY did I not realize this sooner?!
4. Remove from oven and allow to rest in pan for 5 minutes before taking out. Bread will continue to cook while it rests. Use a toothpick to test the center after the 5 minutes to make sure the center is not too undercooked (unless you're like my husband and think banana bread can never be too undercooked).
To make muffins using this same recipe, preheat oven to convection 325 (for light coated muffin pan or 300 for dark). Fill cupcake insert 3/4 full. Bake for 15 minutes, broil for 3 minutes, and remove from pan immediately for a soft center.