Mary Berry's Pro Tip For Banana Bread With Perfectly-Balanced Texture

Many people won't pass on a slice of banana bread if they have the chance to enjoy it. It's the perfect anytime snack, as it is sweet enough for a treat, but the bananas also make it a suitable breakfast option. However, the simplicity that makes banana bread easy to bake also makes it a little basic. A simple banana bread recipe results in a loaf that pretty much just consists of a dominant banana flavor and one texture: soft.

However, you can shake things up a bit by taking a page out of "Great British Bake Off" queen Mary Berry's book. Berry graces her banana bread with a textured topping made from a mixture of pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds, plus demerara sugar. Demerara sugar is a raw, large-grain sugar that contains a small amount of molasses, like brown sugar, but with more crunch. People often use demerara sugar as a topping or anywhere else that sugar is added for texture instead of just for flavor. This seed-and-sugar mixture all goes on top of the unbaked loaf before it goes into the oven. As a result, the loaf of banana bread comes out with a slightly crispy-crunchy and deliciously nutty topping.

Other ways to add texture to your banana bread

No demerara sugar or seeds on hand? There are plenty of other ways to add extra texture to and upgrade your banana bread. If you actually really love the soft, slightly dense banana bread texture, especially when it's warm from the oven, you may not want to add crunch. Instead, you might lean further into the billowy and gooey elements of banana bread. To maximize those aspects, consider swirling some Nutella or peanut or almond butter into your batter before baking the bread. Alternatively, you can add chocolate chips. Berries like blueberries or raspberries are also a great option, especially if you're trying to incorporate more fruit. 

If you do want some crunch, though, try adding your favorite chopped and toasted nuts instead of seeds. Toss shredded coconut onto the top of the batter before baking for a toasted coconut topping. Whatever you add, be sure not to make some of the mistakes everyone makes with banana bread, like over-mixing the batter or using the wrong flour-to-banana ratio, as these can negatively impact your loaf's final texture regardless of whatever else you add to the recipe. Mary Berry has become a respected expert on baking for a reason, and her banana bread recipe is just one example of that expertise.