April 7, 2021 1:48 PM   Subscribe

I just (5 minutes ago) put a loaf of banana bread in the oven, which is supposed to bake for a little under an hour. I suddenly realized that I have to leave for an important appointment in 30 minutes. What should I do with the banana bread? Take it out now? Wait until I'm about to leave, take it out and then re-bake for like 20 minutes later? Hope me!!
posted by btfreek to Food & Drink (10 answers total)
I have done both and my banana bread has turned out fine either way. The right answer depends on how long you want to wait for your delicious treat when you get home.
posted by rpfields at 1:52 PM on April 7

Response by poster: A couple extra details I forgot to add in my haste to post:
- I definitely won't be back from my appointment by the time the banana bread will be done.
- I initially was hoping that the batter was still warming up since I hadn't put the pan in the oven for very long, but when I checked it seems like the batter is already starting to rise around the edges.
- Maybe I can turn the oven off at a strategic time and use the residual heat to finish baking the rest?
posted by btfreek at 1:54 PM on April 7

5 minutes? Take it out now, fridge it, and just re-bake later.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 1:54 PM on April 7 [14 favorites]

Best answer: Hmm. I would bake it until you have to leave, then turn the oven off when you're gone but leave the door closed (don't even peek!). Worst case scenario is slightly under or over baked banana bread.

If you consciously try to bake partway then what, fridge it? Disaster seems likely.
posted by Temeraria at 1:54 PM on April 7 [21 favorites]

How long will it be until you return?

If it won’t be, like, hours and hours, I would turn the oven off right before I walked out the door and leave the loaf in there to keep baking. The oven won’t go stone cold the second you turn it off. It’ll keep baking the banana bread, eventually cooling off so it won’t burn the bread (or your house).

Test your bread when you come back. You may need to bake it a bit more.

On preview, what Temeraria said.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:57 PM on April 7 [4 favorites]

I'd do as Temeraria suggests. You've probably got baking powder in the mix, and that will lose its rising power if it's placed in the refrigerator now.
posted by hydra77 at 1:57 PM on April 7 [5 favorites]

Agree with turning it off when you leave. Later you could try to rebake the whole thing, but I think it would be safer to slice it and then bake and/or toast each slice individually, which would make it easier to see when it was done but not dried out.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 2:22 PM on April 7 [1 favorite]

My answer is too late now, but does your oven have a long-forgotten time-bake feature? You set the oven to turn on and turn off at specific, designated times. I grew up with oven features like this (40-50 years ago) and literally walked over to my oven (in the kitchen where I've lived 23 years) and said, "Oh, yeah, look, time-bake!

At least this might help future readers. Mine is two tiny analog dials, one for start and one for stop, but I assume modern ovens have digital versions of time-bake.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 3:50 PM on April 7 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks all. I turned my oven off right before I left (about 15 minutes left on the timer) and when I came back ~2 hours later it was still warm-ish and slightly underbaked. Threw it back in the oven at 350F and checked on it every 5 minutes (took longer than I expected - because the loaf had to heat back up, duh) until a toothpick came out clean.

End result: slightly drier top and mooshier bottom (and maybe slightly less lift) than usual, but overall still very edible!
posted by btfreek at 7:03 PM on April 7 [17 favorites]

Thanks for updating; I was wondering.
posted by theora55 at 7:47 AM on April 8 [1 favorite]

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