Posted by: Jonjon | December 4, 2009

Banana Yeast Bread 2 Apparently lightest. 8/10

Sponge = 128% water, 25% honey, 1.7% instant yeast to AP flour, Main dough = 1.3% yeast, 10% dry milk, 9% butter, banana, 3.3% salt, to AP flour. 1 banana to 200 g AP flour

Ingredients (for one loaf):

80 g unbleached all-purpose flour

103 g water @ 70 to 90º F/21 to 32ºC

20 g honey

0.8 g instant yeast

For the final dough

207 g unbleached all-purpose flour

2.3 g instant yeast

20 g dry milk (preferably non-fat)

18.5 g almond oil (not roasted) (Rose actually uses softened unsalted butter but some of us need to watch their butter intake, so I usually do not use any)

1 very ripe medium banana, lightly mashed

6.6 g salt

Method: (can be mixed by hand or with a mixer. I tried both and thought the mixer came out ahead)

For the sponge

1. In a large bowl, combine flour, water, honey and yeast

2. Whisk until very smooth to incorporate air, about 2 minutes. The sponge will have the consistency of a thick batter

3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature at least one hour and 24 hours maximum.

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour (reserve about 60 g if mixing by hand), yeast and dry milk.

2. Sprinkle this on top of the sponge and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Allow to ferment 1 to 4 hours at room temperature (during this time, the sponge will bubble through the flour blanket, which is actually pretty cool to watch)

3. Add oil (or butter), mashed banana and salt to the bowl and stir (with wooden spoon or with your hand) until all the flour is moistened

4. Knead the dough in the bowl until it comes together, then scrape it onto a lightly floured counter

5. Knead for 5 minutes, adding as little of the reserved flour as possible to keep it from sticking

6. Use a bench scraper to scrape the dough and gather it together as you knead it. It will be very sticky

7. Cover with the inverted bowl and allow to rest for 20 minutes

8. Knead for another 5 minutes until very smooth and elastic. It should be still tacky enough to cling slightly to your fingers.

9.  Cover with lid or plastic wrap

10. Allow to rise, until doubled (for 1 ½ to 2 hours)

11. Using a dough scraper, scrape the dough onto a floured counter and press down on it gently to form a rectangle. Try to maintain as many air bubbles as possible

12. Fold the dough from all sides into a tight package (or give it 2 business letter turns) and set it back in the container

13. Let rise again until doubled (1 or 2 hours)

14. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured counter and shape it into a loaf. Allow to rise until the center is about one inch above the sides of the pan, (1½ to 2 hours) or until it keeps the indentation of your finger when pressed (I baked the bread in a pan the first time around but didn’t like the way it looked,

15. Preheat the oven  to 475ºF/246ºC one hour before baking, placing a baking stone or baking sheet on the lowest-level shelf with a cast-iron skillet or a baking sheet on the floor of the oven

16. Quickly but gently sit the pan on the baking stone, pour one cup of water (Rose uses 1/2 cup of ice cubes but I always use cold water) into the skillet and immediately shut the door

17. Turn the heat down to 450ºF/231ºC and bake for 15 minutes

18. Turn the heat down to 430ºF/221ºC and continue baking for another 15 minutes or so, until the bread is medium golden brown and an instant-read thermometer reads about 190ºF/88ºC inside the loaf. Halfway through the baking turn the pan around to ensure even baking

19. Remove the bread from the oven and set it on a wire rack. If a glaze is desired, brush with melted butter

20. Un-mold (if using the pan) and let cool for about one hour on a wire rack.


This was just okay. The bread was sweeter than usual. It was very aromatic. The crust was thin and chewy, and the texture was fluffy but not the lightest bread that I”ve had before.

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