Spruce Up Your Tired Banana Bread With A Bonus Layer

Even the most novice bakers can proudly make a loaf of banana bread. This quick bread is not only incredibly easy to prepare, but even the most basic banana bread recipe can serve as a template for various personalizations and customizations. A traditional banana bread recipe can be spruced up with the addition of chopped nuts, dried fruit, or chocolate chips. The basic recipe can even be adjusted to suit dietary needs such as Paleo or gluten-free.

But if you really want to take your banana bread to the next level? All you need is one extra banana to slice and add on top of the loaf as a beautiful and delicious bonus layer of banana goodness. In the end, a loaf of banana bread is the perfect no-waste recipe just about anyone can enjoy. It is the ideal way to use up bananas that have been left out on the countertop a bit longer than intended, and it's so easy to make it even more delicious.

The perfect bananas for banana bread

Bananas are unique among fruit because they continue to ripen even after they are harvested. That's because it's a climacteric fruit — or a fruit that produces ethylene (a hormone) after being picked, which helps it ripen off-tree. Unripe bananas are green, and they begin to turn the signature yellow hue as they ripen. As time goes on, the yellow peel begins to take on small brown flecks. Eventually, these flecks become large brown spots, and before you know it, the entire flesh can become brown.

The good news is that even when a banana is past the ideal point for peeling and snacking, it is perfect for baking. This color change on the banana peel is a sign that the starch in the fruit has converted into sugar, making the bananas even sweeter and more flavorful. That is why darker bananas are perfect for mashing and using in your favorite banana bread recipe. For this bonus layer technique, you will want bananas that are pleasantly ripe with lots of brown flecks, but not so ripe that the bananas are mushy and will no longer slice well. 

Add extra flavor and flair to your next loaf of banana bread

If you are tired of the same old banana bread and have just one extra banana, you can add a bonus layer of flavor and fun to your next loaf. After you have prepared the batter and added it to the loaf pan, simply slice the extra banana and nestle it on top of the loaf before it goes into the oven. As it bakes, the sliced banana will infuse even more fresh banana flavor into the bread and add additional texture into each slice.

The banana can be sliced crosswise into rounds and artfully scattered on top of the unbaked loaf. It can also be sliced lengthwise into two long pieces and placed cut side up into the batter. Both techniques offer beautiful options for presentation and flair when the loaf emerges from the oven. Plus, no one will have to guess the flavor of this quick bread since the star of the show is right there on top!