I have to start this post by deeply thanking a Brazilian reader of mine, Debora – after reading my desperate request for a good yeasted banana bread, she left a comment with a link for a recipe, and it looked like what I wanted.
I finally baked the bread and what a wonderful recipe this is! The rolls came out extremely tender and with a delicious banana hint. Since they are not overly sweet, you can use your imagination and slather them with butter, jam, or make sandwiches with multiple choices of fillings.
I used this recipe and Dominic sent me a very kind email after I left him a comment - he suggests the addition of ground cardamom to the bread. I only reduced the amount of salt and proofed the yeast before mixing all the other ingredients.
I knew I could count on my readers and fellow food bloggers to put an end on my banana bread quest. Thank you!
Yeasted banana bread
2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
¾ cup (180ml) lukewarm water
3 cups (420g) unbleached all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, softened
¼ cup nonfat dry milk
1 ripe banana, slightly mashed
Place the yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer, add 1 pinch of the sugar and cover with the water. Mix well and set aside until foamy.
Add the flour, salt, remaining sugar, butter, dry milk and banana and mix them using the dough hook (or knead by hand) until you've made a smooth, soft dough – 5 minutes were enough for me. It should be barely tacky. Don't add a lot of extra flour - you'll end up with a dry loaf. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise 1 to 1 ½ hours until almost doubled in bulk.
Remove dough from bowl and place it onto a lightly floured surface; knead it lightly for 10 seconds, then cut it into 8 pieces and roll into balls. Butter a 25cm (10 in) round cake pan and place the balls inside it, forming a circle. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let it rise again for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF; bake bread for 35-40 minutes, until golden. If it seems to be getting too brown toward the end of cooking, you can tent with foil.
Remove from oven and transfer the pan to wire rack for at least an hour to cool completely. Unmold bread.