Yes, Banana YEAST Bread.
Three bananas, too ripe for peeling and eating, lay on my kitchen counter this morning. What to do? I am so over banana quick breads right now, that I pondered the idea of a yeast banana bread. A quick Google search yielded lots of recipes from which to choose.
This recipe from Taste of Home caught my attention. To be honest, it was the first one that came up. I read through the recipe and the reviews and decided to give it a try. I did make a few changes using the principles learned in my recent baking classes. Instead of measuring the flour, I weighed it and used the stretch and fold method instead of kneading the dough by hand. If you are unfamiliar with the stretch and fold technique you can find see Peter Reinhart's demonstration on You Tube.
The aroma in my kitchen as the bread was baking was intoxicating. I could barely wait for the bread to cool to give it a taste. Michael described it as "yeast bread with a hint of banana." I agree with that description. Because of the sugar in the dough, the crust has a nice sweet crunch. The interior, or the crumb as bakers refer to it, was soft and moist. We tasted the bread with a slathering of butter but I predicted that it would be great toasted or in a PB&J, which I later confirmed.
- ¾ cup milk
- ½ cup butter
- ½ cup sugar
- 5 ½ to 6 cups all-purpose flour (I used 675 grams measured)
- 2 packages (¼ ounce each active dry yeast ( I used 0.5 ounces measured))
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 3 medium ripe bananas (mashed)
- 1 teaspoon water
- In a small saucepan, cook and stir the milk, butter and sugar over medium-low heat until butter is melted. Cool to 110°-115°. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups (240 grams) of flour, yeast, salt, 2 eggs, bananas and milk mixture. Beat on low-speed until combined then increase to medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough ( I added 435 grams additional flour).
- Turn onto a smooth surface, lubricated with a 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Pour a little vegetable oil on your hands and form the dough into a rectangle. Pull the rectangle away from you to stretch the dough, then fold it halfway back over itself. Repeat with the other end as if folding the rectangle into thirds. Spray the inside of a large bowl with cooking spray and place it over the top of the dough to prevent it from drying out. Repeat the stretch and fold procedure three more times, allowing the dough to rest for ten minutes in between. Form the dough into a large ball and place it in the large bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Lightly spray the top of the dough and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Divide dough in half. Shape each into a round loaf. Place on a greased baking sheet or a parchment paper that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray. Cut slits in tops. Cover loosely and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
- Beat remaining egg with water and brush over the loaves. Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 2 loaves.