Banana bread is a very popular recipe around the world. Its moist, sweet and sticky flavour make it so popular you can find it just about anywhere in the world and the simplicity involved in making it means you will find it being made all over the world as well. Unfortunately, its winning attributes also mean that banana bread doesn’t keep for long and ways to store it are very important. You may have thought of freezing banana bread before. If so read on and see if banana bread can be frozen.
What is banana bread?
Banana bread is a form of quick bread. Quick bread is an umbrella term for any type of baked dough product that does not use yeast or eggs as a leavening agent. Hence the label quick. In banana bread, the leavening agent is baking soda. Banana bread has the distinguished honour of being the most searched for bread recipe on the internet. The origins of banana bread are shrouded in mystery but it is believed to have been first made sometime in the 1800s as the history of quick bread points to their wide use in that century. Modern recipes include nuts and raisins.
How To Tell If Banana Bread Has Gone Bad?
Banana bread recipes usually turn out with a moist and sticky texture. So the signs of banana bread going bad are closely related to these two qualities. First of them is mould and if you see any mould in banana bread then it is bad. Another sign is discolouration in the form of dark spots. That is an indicator that your banana bread may be going off. Finally when banana bread smells sour or like anything other than bananas is a telling sign that the bread is going off. In the cases of mould and discolouration, it’s important to note that once the bread has shown these in any part of it you should discard the entire loaf and not just those parts.
Can you freeze banana bread?
The good news is banana bread can safely be frozen and thawed for consumption. Your banana bread will keep safely in the freezer and is also very quick thawing. Freezing it, however, does come with rules you need to be aware of to get the best out of your banana bread in the freezer and when you eventually thaw it.
Methods of Freezing Banana Bread
There are two approaches to freezing banana bread. Both work just fine and your choice of freezing method will come down to how you intend to consume the banana bread when you have thawed it. Whichever method you use it’s important to make sure your bread has completely cooled if you are freezing homemade banana bread.
The first method you wrap the banana bread loaf tightly with cling wrap. This serves two purposes. Firstly preventing freezer burn and secondly keeping the moisture in the bread. After wrapping the bread in cling wrap place the bread in a freezer bag. Label the freezer bag with the date the bread was frozen and place in the freezer.
The second method involves slicing the banana bread into individual slices and cling wrapping these individually. Once the individual slices are wrapped it’s safe to put them in a freezer bag all together. Just as in the other method the bag must be labelled with the date the bread goes into the freezer.
When using either of these methods make sure that the cling wrap entirely covers the bread. It is advisable to wrap it multiple times. Avoid the idea of vacuum sealing the bread. While the idea is to keep air out, tightly vacuum sealing the bread will lead to it collapsing and when you thaw it your are likely to get a mashed bread clump rather than a soft moist banana bread loaf. As you will see when we discuss thawing the banana bread your choice of freezing method will be determined by the approach you will use to consuming the bread.
Duration of Frozen Banana Bread
Banana bread can keep safely in the freezer for 2-3 months maintaining the quality of the bread and texture. That is not to say it is not safe to keep longer than 3 months but what tends to happen beyond this pound is a loss in quality. You may find banana bread stored longer than 3 months dry, brittle and crumbly when thawed. The extended storage period may also lead to deterioration in the flavour of the fresh bananas, raisins or nuts if your recipe contains any of these.
Thawing Banana Bread
Thawing banana bread is a very simple process. You have a few options as to how to go about it. You can thaw it on the countertop by just removing it from the freezer and leaving it there. If you pack it in slices it can thaw in 30 minutes while those who pack in loaves may have to give it 4 to 6 hours to thaw. In the latter case, one may choose to thaw the banana bread in the fridge. This will take longer but may be necessary if you’re not going to finish the loaf in one sitting. With the slices, you can speed up the process by removing the cling wrap and placing the slices in the microwave for 30 seconds. Bear in mind that banana bread will only keep for about a week in the fridge. If you’ve frozen your banana bread in slices you also have the option of using the toaster to thaw them. It is ideal to use the normal toast setting for unwrapped slices. If you’ve chosen to freeze the banana bread as a loaf you will also be able to place the loaf in the oven. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius then place the loaf in the oven for 30 minutes to achieve best results.
There you have it. The best way to freeze, store and thaw banana bread for your convenience. Thawed banana bread can be paired with your favourite hot or cold beverages and desserts.