Time for SAT practice! When life gives you lemons you make lemonade. When life gives you extremely brown bananas you make _______. If you chose banana bread, you are correct! If not slap yourself… Or give yourself a stern talking to. Life gave me brown bananas, but unfortunately, life didn’t give me a loaf pan. Instead, I decided to make muffins. (If you want to make banana bread, pour batter into a loaf pan. There are no ingredient differences in this case.)
If you’ve read any of my other recipe pages, then you know all about the boogie man known as gluten. You know about its good and its bad. In the case of quick breads like muffins, gluten is not desired in a large quantity. How do we minimize its formation? Well one way is to avoid overmixing, but there are other factors at play that help in the fight against unnecessary gluten.
You might not realize this, but most recipes include ingredients that naturally fend off gluten. These ingredients are fats and sugars. Fats coat individual gliadin and glutenin proteins in a hydrophobic (water averse) fat layer, which stop gliadin and glutenin from combining with water and each other to form gluten. In the case of this recipe, we have melted butter fighting a very valiant battle.
Sometimes infantry just isn’t enough. It’s time to bring out the artillery. Sugar emerges from the ashes of war. It competes with gliadin and glutenin for binding with water molecules. Best of all, banana bread recipes have bananas. An obvious statement, perhaps, but what is important is what is in the bananas. Fructose! Fructose molecules are much smaller than granulated sugar molecules (sucrose). Because of their smaller size, these molecules are an even bigger nuisance than sucrose in gluten formation.
3-4 Overripe bananas
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
2 cups AP flour
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp of cinnamon
8 tbs (1 stick) of melted unsalted butter
¼ tsp vanilla
Optional– 1 cup nuts (Pecans, walnuts, almonds, or combination)
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Mash the bananas with sugar in a large bowl
- Combine the Wet 2 ingredients
- Mix the banana mixture with the butter mixture (Wet 1 with Wet 2)
- Combine all of the dry ingredients together
- Mix dry ingredients into wet ingredients
- Add the nuts
- For muffins, fill muffin tins to top and bake for about 25 minutes. For loaf, put batter in loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes to an hour or until done.