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The One Thing You Should Never Do When Making Banana Bread

Photo: Robbie Caponetto

A loaf of banana bread can fix many problems in a Southern household. Need a gift to give to a new neighbor? Wrap up a loaf of banana bread. Want a great option for your ladies' luncheon on Saturday? Slice up a loaf of banana bread. Looking for a nice gesture to send a grieving friend? A loaf of soft, moist banana bread is always welcome as Southern comfort food.

This incredible sweet bread can be served both warm and cold, making it the versatile recipe that every good Southern cook (and bride!) should have in her arsenal. Serve with a slather of butter, toasted in the microwave with a little bit of a crust, or even drizzled with cane syrup. Plus, most banana bread recipes yield two loaves. Translation? Keep one for yourself, and share one with a friend. It's a great way to maintain relationships.

One of our favorite recipes for this classic quick bread comes from Louisiana native David Guas, owner and chef at Bayou Bakery in Arlington, Virginia. Nana's Banana Bread is a reader favorite, with multiple five-star reviews and comments like, "One of the best banana breads I've ever made!" So, when it comes to crafting the perfect loaf, David Guas knows what he's doing.

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"There are two things [you need to know] about batters," David says. "If using two eggs, like in Nana's Banana Bread, add each egg separately to allow that egg to incorporate thoroughly before adding the next one."

The second – and arguably most important – tip that David shares has everything to do with how light and fluffy your loaf will be when it comes out of the oven.

"Don't forget, once all the eggs are added, to stop the machine and scrape down the bowl. I cannot emphasize that enough," David says. "It is to assure that all the ingredients are incorporated. And, once all is added, be careful not to overmix the batter. [It's] better to stop the machine and do the last turns of the batter by hand."

The more you mix your banana bread batter, the more gluten is developing in the bread – which is great for a yeast-risen, chewy loaf, but not so great when you're hoping for a tender, soft quick bread. An overmixed banana bread batter will result in a dense, rubbery loaf. As you're prepping your batter, heed the advice of "stir until just moistened" and "no more than 10 seconds."

Less work and better banana bread? We're in!

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