Banana bread is a "quick bread," meaning that it is leavened with baking powder and/or baking soda rather than yeast. Banana bread baked in a traditional loaf pan measuring 9 by 5 by 3 inches takes about 55 to 60 minutes to bake. Small loaf pans or mini-loaf pans require less time to bake. Small banana bread loaves have many uses and are the perfect size for bake sales or holiday gifts.
Preheat the oven to the temperature suggested in your recipe.
Grease the bottom and sides of two 7½- by 3½- by 2-inch small loaf pans, or four 5½- by 3- by 2½-inch mini-loaf pans. Some recipes suggest greasing the sides of the pans only one-half inch up from the bottom.
Mash the bananas before beginning to make the bread. Carefully measure the amount of mashed banana called for in the bread -- don't add extra banana just to use up ripe fruit, because it can cause your loaf to turn out heavy and soft in the middle.
Combine the dry ingredients in the recipe, stirring to mix well.
Combine wet ingredients in another bowl.
Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, then add the wet ingredients all at once. Use a large spoon to stir the mixture only until all ingredients are combined. The batter should appear lumpy. Stirring until the batter is completely smooth may result in a tough bread.
Turn the batter into prepared baking pans; filling pans two-thirds full.
Stagger the pans in the oven so that air can circulate around them.
Use the same oven temperature suggested in the recipe, but adjust baking time as necessary for the size of pan you are using. Estimate that the baking time for small or mini loaves will be approximately one quarter less the time than what was called for with a regular-size loaf pan.
Start checking the loaves for doneness about 10 minutes before the expected baking time has elapsed.
Test the loaves for doneness. Chunks of banana in the bread may give a false reading when testing the loaves with a cake tester or toothpick, so always double check by testing in more than one place. You can also test for doneness by gently pressing the surface of the loaf; it should bounce back like a cake.
Remove the pans from the oven when the loaves are done. Allow them to sit for about 10 minutes.
Use potholders to carefully unmold the banana bread loaves from the pans. Place the warm loaves on a wire rack to cool completely before slicing or storing.