Banana bread

I bought your book a few months ago and this was the first recipe I tried, I made it as muffins rather than a loaf and put sultanas rather than nuts but they were absolutely wonderful and so much so that I took a batch into my work and offered them round (not something I would normally do with gluten free efforts!) I did have to bake them a bit longer than the time suggested.

Yesterday I had no muffin cases and put it in a silicone loaf mould. After the recommended time in the oven 45 minutes at 180 it was still pretty sloppy. I left it in for an hour and it looked lovely on top and I thought the skewer came out clean. Let it cool, drizzled the lemon icing and cut it a wee while later to taste it and it was pretty wet and mushy inside! Not sure what I did wrong? I thought it was a large loaf tin and although it was pretty full when uncooked it didnt overflow when baking. When I took the mould off it kinda collapsed over to one side - but as I dont care too much about looks, just taste, I didnt bother about that! Should that have sounded warning bells? LOL

Your rating: None
adriana's picture
adriana wrote 13 years 44 weeks ago

Banana Bread

Hi Evelyn,  I think I can spot a few problems from what you have said.  For a start, I am a great loather of silicone moulds. I find that they do not conduct heat well and are difficult to handle as they are so unstable (trying to get a sloppy cake batter from counter to oven and vice ce versa).  These are used in commercial facilities and I do think they require a higher temperatures then domestic ovens.  I for one cannot see why they are so popular- apart from the fact that they they come in nice colours and are easier to wash.  But having had several disasters with silicone moulds, I have now sworn never to use them again.

The other thing is that in all baking but more so when baking gluten free, you must resist the temptation to fill the tin to more than half way.  If you over fill a baking tin- there is no room for the mixture to rise and it will collapse on itself exactly as you describe. I do give guides for the size and shape of tin but I never expect people to slavishly stick to these dimensions.  You will no doubt, as I would, use a tin of a similar size and shape, but it may be a bit bigger or smaller.  This will affect baking times as will what the tin is made of.  Glass (pyrex) will cook quicker, dark metal tins conduct heat very quickly too and the thickness and quality of the tin, will also have an effect on baking times.

Oven temperatures are also critical and these vary tremendously in a domestic setting.  If you suspect your oven is not reaching the correct temperature it would be a good idea to invest in an oven thermometer. You will be very surprised by the results.  With my own oven at home, I have come to understand it's own distinct personality and I adjust baking times accordingly. It tends to bake on the hot side so I either turn the temperature down a notch or two- or set the timer for 10-15 minutes less then a recipe might indicate.  The trick of good baking comes down to experience and knowing when things are done. Mistakes do happen, even to the most seasoned baker- but as we tend to do in this household, we eat the mistakes and move on!  Hope this helps and I hope to hear from you again soon.  All the best, Adriana

PS. I shall post some general baking tips in the next few days.......


evelyngittoes's picture
evelyngittoes wrote 13 years 44 weeks ago

sloppy banana bread

Adriana, thank you so much for such a long detailed reply. I reckon I broke almost every one of the rules and can see now how each of these mistakes contributed towards the disaster I produced!

Totally agree with the wobbly mould situation and I am sure I overfilled it as well! I also think my wee top oven may not heat as well as the larger bottom oven so next time I will follow your advice - will certainly let you know how I get on as the muffins were very moreish and I got lots of compliments from work colleagues so I knew it was more to do with not baking the mixture as muffins this time!

All baking tips will be gratefully received. Evelyn