# Why were my banana muffins hard?

The top of my muffin came out a little hard, and the whole muffin wasn't soft enough. My recipe had

``````3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
2 cup sugar
1 cup of vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas.
``````
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Without seeing the recipe for clarification, it's a little tough to say. But it sounds like the oven temperature was too high, and they were baked for too long. Would you mind posting the recipe? – ganache Aug 1 '13 at 4:07
Baking time and temperature? Did you mix for a long time? Were they overbrowned or just too hard? – Jefromi Aug 1 '13 at 4:42

In the given recipe, assuming generously that the bananas came out to 1 3/4 c, the total water is:

``````Approximately 12 oz from banana
Approximately 3 oz from eggs
``````

With three cups of flour, assuming a 4.5 oz cup of flour, this is a ratio of 0.9 : 1 flour to water by weight.

Compare to a similar banana muffin recipe (this one from the Food Network):

``````2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups smashed bananas (about 4 to 6 bananas)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/8 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cups chopped walnuts
``````

The water content of this recipe is approximately:

`````` 4 oz from milk
2 oz from eggs
14 oz from banana
``````

Again, with a 4.5 oz cup of flour, the flour to water ratio is 0.56 : 1 flour to water by weight.

Note that the recipe used has a much higher flour : water ratio, making a much drier and stiffer batter. It sounds like nearly a dough. It also has a relatively huge amount of sugar and oil.

My guess is the original recipe was not well designed and tested. It is highly likely that:

• The recipe you have used simply has a very low hydration of the flour, which would contribute to poor texture
• The low hydration encouraged overmixing, which developed gluten and created toughness

You have not indicated time or temperature or muffin size, but it is also likely that they were overbaked.

I would suggest finding a quality recipe as a base. Also, chocolate chips are great in banana muffins, but that is a separate issue.

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+1 mostly for the chocolate chips :-) – Martin Turjak Aug 1 '13 at 12:20