Monday, September 23, 2013

Banana Yeast Bread


                  Happy Monday..As always the weekend went by way to quickly. We have to get everything done store wise on saturday because everything is closed on sunday. There is the odd store here and there that is open, but those are mostly grocery stores and you don't even want to shop then because every other bored person dresses up in their sunday best and heads to the store to hang out! I was able to get the much needed lunch date with the husband and regroup a bit. I've been on a long grumpy streak that's more of my doing than anything else. I guess we all go through periods where we wonder if anything we do actually matters to anyone else. The answer is,yes of course it matters! the mind can play tricky games sometimes.

The more I bake bread the more I realize I need several stomach chambers like a cow. I'm serious!!! There is just not enough time to consume all of the bread that I want. If you saw the list of breads that I wanted to bake you'd think I was crazy..but it's true. I love baking bread and happily work through and mark off each type I have baked. I'm starting to love free form loaves more than the traditional roll up and plop into a loaf pan kind. I still love those for sure, but I just love shaping bread into round fat loaves or braids or even into a wreath shape..which I will share soon! artisan,free form loaves are amazing.

And so is this bread! I know most people don't think about banana being a yeast type bread..but it is! people need to be baking these more because they are just incredible. The bread is incredibly moist and believe it or not, the banana flavor is very subtle. We loved thick slices of this toasted, slathered in peanut butter and with a drizzle of honey. It's also excellent when turned into a grilled peanut butter sandwich or when made into french toast. This bread will be added to my usual rotation of sweet type breads that we adore during the fall and winter months. I hope you give this recipe a try. You won't be sorry!

Banana Yeast Bread

3/4 cup Milk
1/2 cup Butter
1/2 cup Sugar
5-1/4-6 cups All-purpose Flour
4-1/2 tsp. Active Dry Yeast
1 tsp. Salt
3 Eggs
3 Medium Ripe Bananas

In a large saucepan, cook and stir the milk, butter, and sugar over medium heat until butter is melted; cool to 120-130-F. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, yeast, salt,2 eggs,bananas, and milk mixture; beat on low speed until combined or use a large wooden spoon and mix until thoroughly combined, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.

Turn onto a floured surface; knead the dough until smooth and elastic ( adding in any additional flour to make that happen),between 5 and 10 minutes. Place into a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled,about 45 minutes - 1 hour.

Lightly flour your surface and divide the dough in half. Shape into two round balls and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet or one that has been spray lightly with nonstick spray. Cover with either a tea towel or plastic wrap that has been sprayed with nonstick spray to avoid sticking to the dough and allow to rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
              Preheat oven to 375 or 190 celsius. In a small bowl, beat remaining egg with 1 teaspoon of water and set aside. Slash the bread across the top, brush it with the egg wash and bake in the oven 30-35 minutes, or until loaves are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Cool on wire racks. You can freeze these as well! Once cooled,wrap them up in plastic wrap, then in foil, and then place into a freezer safe bag.

Yield: 2 round loaves
Source: Taste of Home