The best flour for banana bread is a simple all purpose flour that is either plain or self-raising flour. This is the best option to combine easily with the other ingredients, work well with raising agents and give you a light bread.
This article will explore the best types of flour to use for banana bread.
Best flour types for banana bread
These are the best types of flour to use for banana bread.
1. All-purpose flour
All purpose flour is the best flour for banana bread. This is a wheat flour that has been sifted with the husks of the wheat removed. This is technically white flour with less fiber than wholegrain and with a good amount of gluten.
All purpose flour can be plain or self-raising both of which work well in banana bread.
Mixing the flour together with the other dry ingredients like sugar, cinnamon and baking powder first will give you the chance to make sure they are thoroughly mixed without overworking the mixture.
2. Plain flour
Plain flour is a version of all-purpose flour. This is most commonly a white flour with the wheat husks removed. There is no added raising agent so this is normally added separately in the banana bread recipe.
Using plain flour gives you the freedom to add exactly the amount of raising agent needed for your banana bread recipe.
3. Self-raising flour
Self-raising flour is a fantastic option for banana bread. It can be used instead of plain flour in most recipes but just requires an adjustment of the raising agent.
If you are adding self-raising flour instead of plain flour then you generally can reduce the amount of raising agent by half. Half the amount of baking soda and baking powder to avoid the bread rising too much, spilling over the edge of your pan and drying out.
4. Cake flour
Cake flour is fantastic for banana bread as it is a fine flour low in protein. This makes for a light and delicious banana bread that rises well. The low protein levels in cake flour will mean that less gluten will form when you mix the batter making the banana bread lighter.
5. Whole-meal or wholegrain flour
Whole-meal or wholegrain flour can be a great additive for your banana bread. Replacing 50% of the regular flour with whole-meal or wholegrain will add extra fiber and make the bread more filling.
Add some extra quick cooking oats to give your banana bread even more fiber to make it a great snack to fill you up between meals.
6. Gluten free flour
Gluten free flour is a great option for those who need to avoid gluten. I buy a gluten free flour that I can swap straight into recipes. My gluten free flour contains maize, tapioca and rice bran. This is a light flour that makes great cakes and quick breads.
7. Almond flour
Almond flour is a great option for a rich banana bread. This makes a denser loaf with a higher protein content. Banana bread recipes with almond flour can even be keto friendly.
8. Coconut flour
Coconut flour is another good substitute if you are looking to make a gluten free banana bread. It is essential to look out for specific banana bread recipes that are made for coconut flour as it differs a lot from regular plain flour.
Coconut flour can have a delicious, sweet flavor that can liven up your banana bread and give it great flavor.
Flours to avoid using for banana bread
Here are 2 flours that are best to avoid using for banana bread.
Bread flour is high in protein so it is best to avoid using this for making banana bread. The high protein content means that more gluten will develop as you mix the dough. This can make the bread tough and chewy.
Banana bread is essentially a quick bread that does not raise using yeast like regular bread. This means that the gluten will hold and keep the bread flat.
Pasta flour, like bread flour is also high in protein so is not a great option for banana bread. It will tighten the dough as the batter is mixed. Look out for a simple plain flour if you want to make great banana bread.
Should you sift flour for banana bread?
It is always best to sift flour for banana bread as it will remove any lumps and lighten the mix. You can also sift through the raising agent like baking soda or baking powder to mix it through thoroughly.
I like to buy my flour pre-sifted. I look out for triple sifted flour so that it is extra light and has no lumps.
What Flour is Best for Banana Bread? | Summary
The best flour for banana bread is a simple all-purpose flour. You can use plain or self-raising. It is best to choose the flour option in your recipe but you can always switch them if needed. Remember just to add some extra baking powder if you are swapping self-raising flour for plain.
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.