Old-Fashioned yeasted Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut BreadEveryone loves banana nut bread. It’s a quick bread that is tender and moist and flavorful. But what if you made banana nut bread as a yeast bread? Then it would be chewy instead of crumbly but with lots of bananas, still moist and flavorful. So we went to work on it. You can make a yeast bread with bananas. And it really does make a striking bread.

(By the way, this bread makes great French toast with its bananas and nuts. We also did a little experimenting; this recipe makes for very interesting caramel rolls.)

If you are an adventuresome baker, you’ll have fun baking this bread. There are no special techniques involved but it is absolutely loaded with bananas. With so many bananas and nuts, the yeast has to really go to work to make the bread rise. So be patient. In fact this is a good bread to make on a lazy day when you have no deadlines and can let the bread perk until it is ready to bake.

Don’t expect this bread to have the same be as intensely banana as your quick bread; the yeast won’t carry that much fruit. But it is still moist, banana flavored, and very good.

With bananas, nuts, and whole wheat flour and little added fat, this is a wholesome bread to serve your family

Ingredients

5 large, ripe bananas
1/2 cup buttermilk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 cups whole wheat flour
4-5 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon

1 7-gram packet instant yeast
1 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

1. Mash the bananas in a medium bowl. Stir in the buttermilk. Heat the mixture to 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Mix the granulated sugar, whole wheat flour, four cups of bread flour, salt and cinnamon in another bowl.
3. Transfer the banana concoction to the bowl of your stand-type mixer. Add the yeast and stir. Add the flour mixture. With the dough hook, mix the ingredients together. Continue kneading, adding more flour as needed until the you have a soft, barely sticky bread dough. Continue kneading for five minutes or until the gluten is well formed. Remove the dough to a greased large bowl and cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
4. Deflate the dough and form two loaves. Grease and flour two 9 x 5-inch bread pans. Place the dough in the pans and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled.
5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes or until done. The bread will have a brown tone and the interior of the loaf will be at 190 degrees or higher.

Baker’s notes:

1. Depending on the size of the bananas used, you will need to adjust the amount of flour in the recipe.
2. Allow plenty of time for the bread to rise. It may take a couple hours to double in volume.
3. The sugar in this recipe will cause the bread to brown more rapidly than in most recipes. Do not under bake.
4. The sugar and bananas in this recipe seem to make the loaves stick more aggressively to the pans than most breads. Grease the pans well and dust them with flour. Non-stick pans help.