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Why is my banana bread so damp?

OK...I'm about ready to give up. Lately when I make banana bread it's heavy and damp in the middle, no matter how long I bake it. I thought maybe my oven wasn't hot enough, so I baked it a bit extra and almost burned it. And yet it's heavy and damp. While it was baking the top rose up like normal but it collapsed as it cooled and it's more like a banana brick.
Did I use too much banana? This is the recipe I work from: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=12672.0 and I leave out the applesauce because we don't have it here. Are my bananas just too big? Do I need to add more flour to the amount of banana?
The first few times I made it it was fine. Maybe if I make it in a round cake tin instead of a loaf?
Help!

PS: Despite the reviewer with only one post's criticism, I've made this several times and it was fine. It's just the last few months it doesn't work for me.

If your top is sinking you  have a few options to try to fix it.

1) Your oven wasn't hot enough. (get a flippin' oven thermometer!)

2) Too much liquid in the recipe. I find that banana bread batter is usually very thick. If your batter pours like a cake or cupcake even, it's too thin! Bananas are gummy themselves, so you need a thicker batter to make it work.

3) Too much leavening. Decrease the amount of baking powder. But if the top rose and then sunk, I'm guessing you're probably suffering from #1, #2, or both.

Hope that helps, arch nemesis.

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Thanks, base. I think you're right, I need to get the repair guy out to check and see if the elements are going.
It's almost impossible to find an oven thermometer here. I have never seen one.

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Thanks, base. I think you're right, I need to get the repair guy out to check and see if the elements are going.
It's almost impossible to find an oven thermometer here. I have never seen one.

They are super cheap around here. Check online and see if you can't score one thattaway!

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No plastic.  :-\

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if you get involved with a gift exchange/ingredient swap, you should request that! they're only a couple bucks.

i always had this problem with my banana bread, and then i struck gold with one of the recipes on vegweb. i dunno what was different - proportions, or maybe i stopped overmixing. I dunno. I think it also makes a difference about the material of the pan, since the dark vs light vs glass pans always seem to bake things differently.

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Try the Lower Fat Banana Bread from Veganomicon. No fail recipe for me and others I've recommended it to.

If you still need an oven thermometer, message me your address and I'd be happy to send you one. Not hard to find in the L.A. area.

http://thebakingbird.blogspot.com/2009/02/best-vegan-banana-bread.html

Lower-Fat Banana Bread from Veganomicon
Makes one loaf

2 large or 3 small very ripe bananas
1/4 cup applesauce (I used cinnamon spiced)
1/4 cup canola oil
1/2 cup sucanat sugar
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white whole wheat flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas really well. Add the sugar, applesauce, oil, and molasses, and whisk briskly to incorporate.

Sift in the flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Use a wooden spoon to mix until the wet and dry ingredients are just combined. If you're using chocolate chips or nuts, fold them in here.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes (it took 50 for me). The top should be lightly browned and a knife inserted through the center should come out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool!

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Thanks for that, Saskia!!
I wonder now...I used to just mash my nanas with a potato masher and mix by hand. Then I got a mixer. Do you suppose mixing it with an electric mixer changes stuff so it's too finely mixed?
Base? You still there?

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maybe you're overmixing from using the mixer?

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maybe you're overmixing from using the mixer?

Yeah, that's what I'm wondering.

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Always mix until it is BARELY combined. A few lumps are always okay, but sifted flour helps this immensely. I don't think it would make it damp/gummy, just really tough since the glutens react to overmixing!

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ummmmm applesauce is usually a sub for oil... so sub oil (canola or vegetable) i don't think you can just omit this need for liquid completely... the bananas could be too big... also the recipe is not rated well, maybe you should try another?

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Agree with Base and faunablues. Mix just enough to moisten the dry ingredients, about ten seconds. Overmixing the batter makes the texture more rubbery.

Also, stick to mashing the bananas by hand with a potato masher.

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Saskia, you are absolutely right! I checked with the thermometer you sent me (for which, gratitude)--and the thermostat is off by 50 degrees Centigrade! I had it up to 250ºC and the thermometer didn't quite reach 200.

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DINGDINGDING!!!

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wow, 50 degrees!

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Mystery solved!

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