“Microbed” Banana Bread

Banana bread with a microbial twist!

And I will not have you believe that I came up with yeasted banana bread all on my own. King Arthur Flour’s bakers have some amazing ideas. This is a recipe from their blog that I want to share with you because I loved it soo soo soooo much. You can find the original post here. You should definitely check it out because their blog gives a lot of extra tips. The comments are also great because you can see what alterations other people have made to the recipe.

There were some changes I had to make to the recipe based on how my dough looked while kneading. Also, after baking, the crown of the bread dipped down slightly after baking (probably because of too much yeast).  But all changes are reflected here!

Directions: Peel your medium banana (mine was about 3.4 oz, peeled) and cut into chunks. In your bread machine, load the milk, bananas, butter, and honey in the bottom of the tray. Cover with the flour and sprinkle the salt on top. Then make a little valley for your yeast.

I forgot to put the honey in the bottom layer, so you can see it here.

If you’re using all purpose flour you’ll want to add about 1.5 T of vital wheat gluten to the flour. In fact, next time I might add 1T gluten  next time anyway to give the bread a little more chewiness. (Mine turned out SUPER soft.) Also extreeeemely important. Because everyone’s bananas will be slightly different sizes and of varied ripeness, you reeeeally need to watch this dough during the first knead cycle. The original recipe called for just 3C of flour, but I ended up adding quite a bit more. It was a wet day, when I made the bread, inherently requiring more flour because water gets absorbed from the air. But still, I would recommend starting at 3.5C of flour, and to keep an eye on the dough as it is coming together. It will look sticky, no matter what you do, but it should at least be coming together like a dough.

Don't worry about the bananas being in chunks. They'll bread apart in the dough cycle.

Dough cycle complete!

Spray a bread pan with a non-stick cooking spray. After the cycle is complete, transfer the dough to a floured surface. Flatten the dough into a rectangle about the size of your bread pan.

Props to photographer Joe!

Then you’re going to wrap up the edges of the dough to pick it up and place it in the bread pan. Cover the bread with a clean towel, and allow it to rise for 45-60 minutes. I did 60 minutes, and it was a bit long.

Woah! It rose up quite well. Definitely sticking to 45 minutes next time instead of 60.

Preheat your oven to 350°F and bake for 35-45 minutes. I did 35 minutes, and my bread turned out super soft. I think next time I will extend the time to 40 minutes.

Love the color of the crust!

After you remove the pan from the oven, flip it over to take the bead out of the pan.

Let it cool before slicing.

Makes about 20 slices if you're careful! I got 18 out of mine.

Seriously. This is a great crust.

Taste test! My first assumption was that this bread toasted would be excellent with either butter, peanut butter, or honey! ALL GOOD!

A trio of flavors! Buttered, honey, and peanut butter!

Other uses would be PB&J sandwiches, french toast, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this bread would be excellent in savory dishes. I think it would make an excellent bread crumb and possibly stuffing! I’ll have to work on that!

Yummmmm

Enjoy!

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