Thursday, July 1, 2010
There are a lot of people who really like bananas and so I’m assuming that they would also like banana bread, given the number of recipes one can find for it on the net. Well, I’m one of those who enjoy bananas as fruit but not in bakes. Any more out there like me in this preference?
In fact, the only banana bake recipe I have on this blog so far is for Banoffee cupcakes! That might change in the future as I am finding the occasional banana bake that I do like and today’s post is about one of them.
The schedule for the ABin5/ HBin5 group tells me I should have attempted Whole Wheat Mixed Berry Bread or Muffins and Whole Wheat Banana Bread this fortnight. I am not discussing the previous fortnight’s scheduled breads because I never went there!
So far, I have been adapting/ baking some breads from Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (most of the group do this) or from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day which is the book I have.
For various reasons, including the fact that whole wheat or otherwise “healthy” breads aren’t very popular here, I shall now be baking only from my book trying to keep to the schedule whenever possible.
By this I mean, that if something similar to the scheduled breads are in my book I shall bake those or else I will try and adapt the theme for the fortnight to “regular” recipes from ABin5.
As for the mixed berries bread, it isn’t the season for berries here right now unless one is thinking of cherries. So I thought I would bake banana bread with a local variety of some small, sweet yellow bananas I had. If you do a net search for banana bread most of the results would be for a quick bread using baking powder for leavening.
I wanted to make yeasted banana bread and found some good recipes on a couple of sites. My challenge was to adapt a recipe from ABIn5 to make the banana bread.
I used the buttermilk bread recipe that’s on page 207 of ABin5 (half the given recipe). We have become quite fond of this bread here and I’ve found it adapts itself quite well to additions. I last made an excellent Carrot Bread with it and decided to try making banana bread with it.
This time, I decided not to add any whole wheat flour (unlike my usual practice of 1: 3 ratio of whole wheat to all purpose flour) since the addition of puréed banana would probably make the bread dense.
Surprisingly, the banana didn’t make the bread dense/ heavy as I expected. My banana bread rolls turned slightly moist and delightfully soft. The presence/ flavour of banana in the bread was just there, which was fine with us.
If you would like a very strong flavour of banana in your banana bread, then this recipe is perhaps not for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for very soft and slightly sweet bread rolls, I would definitely recommend that you give this recipe a try.
The basic premise of Jeff and Zoe’s bread books is about mixing up the dough on one day and then baking the bread from it as and when required over a period of time from a week to two, depending on the dough.
Since I added banana to this dough, I have no idea whether the dough would keep for more than a day in the fridge. I chose to make up the dough in the morning and bake it in the afternoon of the same day.
You can find the original buttermilk bread recipe on page 207 of Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day.
Yeasted Banana Cardamom Bread Rolls
(Adapted from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day)
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup lukewarm water (maybe a bit more)
½ cup buttermilk*
1 1/2 tsp dry active yeast
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp sugar
2 tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 cup well mashed/ puréed banana
1/2 tsp freshly crushed cardamom
extra flour for dusting
some melted butter for brushing on rolls
*I didn’t have buttermilk so used 1/2 cup milk + 1 tsp white vinegar.
Put the 1/2 cup lukewarm water, buttermilk, yeast, salt, sugar, butter, cardamom and banana in a bowl large enough to hold about 2 1/2 litres of liquid. Lightly whisk everything together till mixed well.
Add the flour and mix everything without kneading, using a strong handled spoon (or in a mixer/ food processor with dough attachment). I always do this by hand as it’s easy and also means no cleaning up my food processor or attachments.
You can add a couple of tsps of lukewarm water if the dough is too dry. The dough should look shaggy and be a bit wet and sticky.
Cover the bowl (not airtight), and allow the dough to rise and collapse (or flatten on top). This should take about 2 hours.
You may use the dough at this point, but it is easier to handle when cold so refrigerate the dough for about half an hour.
Grease a round 9” cake tin with oil or butter.
Take the dough out of the fridge and lightly dust with flour. Divide the dough into eight equal portions. Dust each piece with more flour, if needed but resist temptation to use too much flour or the rolls will turn out tough.
Shape into a ball by stretching the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all four sides while rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go. Similarly shape all the other pieces into balls.
You can bake this bread as a loaf if you prefer.
Arrange the balls of dough in the greased cake tin and lightly cover the tin with a damp towel. Allow the dough to rise, for about 45 minutes to an hour.
Bake the rolls at 180C (350F) for about 35 to 40 minutes till done and golden brown. If you want the crust of the rolls to be soft, brush them on top with melted butter as soon as they come out of the oven.
Cool the rolls in the pan for about 5 minutes and then cool completely on a rack. Serve warm as you desire.
This recipe makes 8 medium sized banana rolls.
My banana rolls are being YeastSpotted!