Top of banana bread almost burnt, but the middle is undercooked?
I use a dark grey 9x5 bread pan when making my banana bread at 375F for 45-55 minutes on the top rack of my oven. The recipe says to bake for 40 minutes; however, the middle of the bread isn't cooked by then!? It's still wet in the inside, but the top of the bread looks perfect at this time. Leaving it in for another 10-15 minutes made the inside perfectly cooked, but now the top is hard, dry, and basically burnt. How could I fix this to make sure the bread is cooked in the inside without having a burnt top/bottom/side?
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Also, rarely if ever have I seen a cake recipe specifying placement in top third of oven - usually cakes are baked in middle or bottom third.
If, on top of this, your oven was still heating up, there may have been a greater differential (much hotter on top, cooking the top crust but no the middle or bottom).
Last, many/most recipes call for moderate oven (350F, 175C), so maybe using the 375F oven also contributed to uneven heating and baking.
Here are a couple articles for more info: