One of the first things I have ever learnt how to bake when I was a kid is the ever-glorious banana bread. Soft, moist, tasty, and having a delicate balance between savory and sweet. I still remember saving up RM0.50 in order to purchase one from my school canteen when I was 7 years old. It was quite the incredible snack!
Of course, one of the funniest mistakes I recall making when making banana bread was using bananas that were simply not ripe enough. It’s insufficient to have just yellow bananas – they need to be turning brown / getting soft because that’s when the sugar starts forming. So imagine my facial expression when on banana bread day, I realized that banana looked like this.
Sure, they were ripe enough to eat. But were they ripe enough to be banana bread? That was the question. So I sat staring at the bananas and I realized that I had an economic dilemma in front of me. Do I wait another day or so for the banana to ripen up further, or do I risk it and chuck it into my batter? Is the disutility suffered from eating a less-delicious banana bread greater or smaller than the disutility suffered from having to wait a day or two to eat a better banana bread?
Of course, after pondering this question for about 30 seconds, I immediately whipped out my phone and googled “ways to quickly ripen bananas.” And that’s when I found the cooking technique that long eluded me – how to play god and speed up the banana aging process.
After 300F and 20 minutes, we had the following images in quick successions:
It turns out – baking it slightly will turn the banana skin black, but the banana fruit ripe.
And there you have it! How to bake a banana in order to bake banana bread.
*PS: The last image was taken less than 24 hours after it was done. I really should remember to take photos immediately when I’m done with my food, or risk the belly wrath of house guests / roommates.