If you accidentally used baking powder and baking soda in your banana bread then it could cause the bread to rise too much and then eventually flatten out. You might notice air bubbles on top of your bread or cracking as the bread rises rapidly and breaks through the crust on the top.
Adding baking powder and baking soda to your banana bread is an accident that can happen if you forget that you already have put the raising agent in. Baking soda and baking powder will both do the same thing in banana bread, both releasing carbon dioxide and causing it to rise.
If you double the amount of raising agent your banana bread can overproof, spill over the baking pan and make a mess.
This article will explore the difference between baking soda and baking powder, what happens if you use both baking soda and baking powder in your bread, how to fix the bread if you do add both and how to avoid making this mistake in the future.
The difference between baking powder and baking soda
Baking soda is a raising agent used in baking that helps the banana bread to rise without the need for yeast. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, a natural base that when it react with an acid releases carbon dioxide. These bubbles get trapped in the banana bread when it bakes causing it to rise.
Baking powder works in the same way as baking soda, the only difference is that it has an acid already mixed in. What it is added to the wet ingredients in your banana bread batter and heated it releases carbon dioxide lie baking soda to help the bread rise.
Banana bread ingredients have natural acidity so you can use either baking soda or baking powder. Some recipes include smaller amounts of both, others will specify one or the other.
What happens when you use baking powder and baking soda in banana bread
Check out these top things you can expect to happen when you use both baking powder and baking soda in banana bread instead of just one.
1. The batter can spill out of the baking pan
Adding more raising agent that stated on the recipe can cause the banana bread to rise too much and the batter can spill out over the edges of the pan.
Most loaf tins are made to just fit the banana bread batter in. Mine will rise right to the top and lift even higher with the right amount of baking soda. If you add both and double the amount then it could spill everywhere.
To avoid this you can easily split the batter over two pans. The batter will cook quicker so check the time half way through to see how it is going. A whole loaf that normally takes 45 minutes to cook might cook in 25-30 minutes if the batter is split into two.
2. The top of the bread can split
Adding both baking soda and baking powder can cause the top of your banana bread to split. As the crust forms on top, the baking powder and soda will continue to cause the bread to continue to rise and eventually split through the top.
Banana bread that has split on top is not a problem but if you are aiming for a flat top, then make sure you put the right amount of baking powder in.
3. Bubbles on top
Adding both baking soda and baking powder can cause bubble marks on the top of the banana bread. This will be because the bread will rise a lot throughout the cooking process and the air will try to escape. This will form bubbles or marks on top of the bread.
4. Coarse texture
Adding both baking soda and baking powder to banana bread can cause the bread to become grainy rather than fluffy. When the bread over-rises, the structure of the bread will break up and can taste coarse.
If you find that your bread tastes grainy, then toast the banana bread before eating it. Cover it in butter and you won’t even notice. Toasting the bread will help to hide the grainy texture and the butter will taste delicious.
5. Bitter taste
Adding too much baking soda and baking powder can cause the bread to taste bitter. The taste of the baking soda or powder can overpower the bread and give it a chemical or even soapy taste.
There isn’t much you can do to hide this taste once it has baked but if you catch it before you bake it then add chocolate chips. Adding chocolate chips will mask the bitter taste and add some sweetness.
6. Browns more on top
Baking soda can cause the banana bread to become to brown on top. The baking soda or powder will make the bread more alkaline which will increase the process of caramelisation causing the top to become very brown.
To avoid this you can lower the oven temperature by 5 degrees. This will increase the cooking time by 5-10 minutes but will help to stop it from becoming too brown on top.
7. Bakes unevenly
Using baking soda and baking powder can cause your banana bread to become uneven. You might notice that it will rise lop sided or rise rapidly in the middle. It can overcook on the edges or become hard on the bottom.
How to fix banana bread with both baking powder and baking soda
If you have accidentally added too much baking soda and powder together then you can save your bread. If you have caught it before baking add some chocolate chips to cover the bitter taste, split it into 2 baking dishes to avoid it spilling over and reduce the baking time.
If you do find that the banana bread has risen too much, just toast it and add butter. It will still taste great.
If you accidentally add both baking soda and powder to your bread instead of just one then your bread will probably be fine. You can always salvage it by adjusting the baking time. If it comes out grainy, just toast it and it will still taste great.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.