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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Cooking Q & A / Banana Bread sinks....
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    Banana Bread sinks....

    Teresa Fadley
    Wed May 29, 2002 10:29 am
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    I have the most terrific recipe that lately I have been having problems with. For the first 35 minutes it stands high in the middle...the last 5-10 minutes it sinks down. Am I doing something wrong? I don't open the oven door, ingredients are consistent and the oven temp is 350 just as the recipe calls for. I would really appreciate any advice. By the way, this doesn't affect the taste of the bread, it is still delicious, just not as pretty as it should be.
    Apple Girl
    Wed May 29, 2002 11:16 am
    Semi-Experienced "Sous Chef" Poster
    Baking powder is what makes bread rise without yeast, so perhaps using a little more of it would help? I'm not sure because I'm still relatively new to the joys of cooking, but it's the first thing that came to my mind.
    Steve_G
    Wed May 29, 2002 12:20 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Quote:

    Baking powder is what makes bread rise without yeast, so perhaps using a little more of it would help? I'm not sure because I'm still relatively new to the joys of cooking, but it's the first thing that came to my mind.


    Actually too much baking powder can make a cake fall as it weakens the structure.

    It could be a ratio problem of chemical levener to flour, or it could be the type or amount of flour, it could be cooked at too high of a temperature, it could be too little egg....

    If you've made the bread before and haven't changed brands of ingredients then the variables are limited. I would check to see if your levener is old, or your oven temp is off (needs calibrating) or your measurement for flour is getting messed up by enviromental conditions. Get some new baking soda/powder, try weighing your flour and calibrate your oven.

    Hope this helps icon_sad.gif
    Teresa Fadley
    Wed May 29, 2002 1:19 pm
    Regular "Line Cook" Poster
    First, let me thank you for taking the time to offer some advice. This recipe does not call for baking powder, only baking soda. I make this recipe alot, but only noticed this problem recently. I will try all those things you suggested and will let you know if any of them work. Especially the baking soda being old. That will be the first thing that I test, Thanks Teresa
    B&B
    Thu May 30, 2002 6:12 am
    Food.com Groupie
    I will post this again.

    Too Much Leavening Can Make Baked Goods a Flop

    Have you ever had a cake that rose beautifully, but five minutes before it
    was to come out of the oven, it fell in the center? You might think that
    when cakes or muffins fall or are heavy, they need more baking powder, but
    often the opposite is true: the problem may be too much leavener. I get
    phone calls about overleavening problems every week, and a colleague with a
    call-in cooking show says this is one of the problems she hears about most
    frequently. Someday I’ll go through a stack of cookbooks to see just how
    many recipes are overleavened.



    Baking powder and soda must be in balance
    By leavening, of course, I mean baking soda and baking powder, not yeast.
    Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, which when heated breaks down to form
    some carbon dioxide gas and sodium carbonate—a salt with a soapy taste.
    However, the major gas production occurs when baking soda combines with an
    acid. In this case, a milder tasting salt is left behind.
    Baking powder contains baking soda and the exact amount of acid to balance
    the soda, along with some cornstarch to keep the two active ingredients
    separate and dry.
    When you have too much of either of these chemical leaveners, the gas
    bubbles in the batter get big, bump into each other, become huge, float to
    the top, and then pop—there goes your leavening.
    So what is the correct amount of leavener? In most recipes, 1 to 11⁄4
    teaspoons baking powder per cup of flour provides ideal leavening (see the
    chart below). Some baked goods with a lot of heavy ingredients, like a
    carrot cake, may need a little more leavening, but not much.

    In most recipes, baking powder is preferred because of its reliability (it
    contains exactly the right amount of acids to completely neutralize all the
    soda, leaving no aftertaste) and because of its double action (one acid
    dissolves when water is added, producing bubbles, and another acid does not
    dissolve and produce leavening until a higher temperature is reached in the
    oven). Sometimes you’ll see a double-acting baking powder with only one
    acid in the list of ingredients. This product may use encapsulation, like
    time-release cold pills, to produce leavening at different times.
    Baking soda is normally used in recipes that contain acidic ingredients
    such as sour cream, buttermilk, brown sugar, or chocolate. You need to
    remember, though, that the soda isn’t just neutralizing acids: it’s also
    making bubbles, and it can easily overleaven.
    Muscle-man soda is often the culprit. Frequently, overleavening is caused
    by an excessive amount of soda. Many cooks and recipe writers don’t realize
    the strength of baking soda. A whole teaspoon of baking powder contains
    only 1⁄4 teaspoon baking soda as its major active ingredient.



    Solving the mystery of the concave cake
    A test kitchen asked me about a cake recipe that called for adding boiling
    water to the soda, letting it stand, and then combining it with other
    ingredients. Sometimes the cake worked, and sometimes it fell. What we
    figured out was that the recipe had too much soda, but if the cook allowed
    the soda to stand long enough with the boiling water, enough of the gases
    came off to prevent the cake from falling. If it didn’t stand long enough,
    the cake was badly overleavened and fell. Recipes like this are tricky, to
    say the least.
    Shirley O. Corriher, a food scientist and a contributing editor to Fine
    Cooking, is the author of the award-winning CookWise (William Morrow). •


    Chemical leavener needed per cup of flour
    These ratios are good to remember so you can evaluate recipes before you
    try them and so you can successfully tinker with or create your own
    recipes.

    For nonacidic recipes:
    1 cup flour 1 to 1 1⁄4 tsp. baking powder



    For very acidic recipes:
    1 cup flour 1⁄2 tsp. baking powder and 1⁄8 tsp. baking soda



    (Note: Baked goods with a lot of heavy ingredients, like carrot cake, may
    need a tiny bit more leavening.)
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