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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

yeasted banana bread

when i first moved in with my father, peter, as a pre-teen, i think i showed signs of being very stubborn and headstrong, and perhaps belligerently arrogant. i say this because whenever i was reprimanded for something, peter would lecture me about "eating my humble pie." during those lectures, i wouldn't have the foggiest idea what the hell he was talking about because more than likely, i was being yelled at for getting a B in math or sassing my mother, so i couldn't figure out the correlation between the two. maybe i was too prideful, refusing to kowtow to anything he said. or maybe he was just trying to warn me that being so bigheaded about anything would eventually get me in trouble.
this past weekend i attempted to make banana bread. not the sweet, almost dessert-like bread. but a loaf-like bread, avec yeast. the tweaks i wanted to make, in hindsight, were a bit ambitious. baking is a science (a subject i loathed but even i see the practicality of it), exact measurements blah blah blah. i didn't want to use ONE banana, like the recipe calls for, i had TWO overripe ones that needed to be used. i didn't have dry milk, i never use dry milk so why buy a box of it? as a result, i used liquid form (1/4 cup dry milk = about a cup of liquid milk) so the batter came out wetter. i had to figure out how much extra flour to use. now, that is eating my humble pie. fighting with the Baking Gods to ensure the entire loaf doesn't come out like vomit. yeah, i was definitely in trouble. the dough refused to cooperate, basically making fun of me for trying to make short cuts of the recipe - short cuts that clearly became long cuts. but like how i was as a teenager, i refused to kowtow and start over (i had already used up all the friggin milk AND banana!). and like a repeat episode of my teen angst years, i was not going down without a fight.

yeasted bananananana bread

Yeasted Banana Bread
adapted from Technicolor Kitchen and the Zen Kitchen
(if you want the "real" recipe, go to their pages, i'm posting what *i* ended up doing)

2 teaspoons instant yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
¾ cup lukewarm water
5 - 6 cups unbleached all purpose flour (initially, it's 3 cups but i just added the extra flour based on the feel of the dough. when it started feeling and looking like bread dough, i stopped)
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup milk (i used 2%)
2 ripe bananas, 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, milk and bananas and mix them using the dough hook (or knead by hand) until the dough is smooth and soft) Place in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to rise 1 to 1 ½ hours until almost doubled in bulk.

Remove from bowl and knead a bit. the original recipe calls to ball the dough but i just loaf'd it. the dough wasn't exactly that pliable and i didn't want to add much more flour or else it would've been too dry.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF; bake bread for 35 minutes, until golden.

it actually came out alright. the bread was moist and not too banana-y. not exactly a failure, thank goodness. i served it during my crafternoon special with the broads on sunday, and i had a slice for breakfast today.

it was definitely a whew moment for me, reminding me not to mess around that much because i could've definitely gotten in some baking trouble. how's that for eating my humble pie?


today's song: Matt Nathanson, Bare


  1. I personally loved it! Very moist and not overly bananaee (that's a word I just made up for you).

    Great job Chef Lan!

  2. It's funny where our elders life lessons turns up huh? I bet this would taste good with french butter spreaded over it. yum!

  3. Sounds really good, actually. I already love bread, and I love banana bread that tastes like cake, so a combo of the two into a yeasty banana bread sounds genius.

    BTW I so know what you mean about tweaking recipes and then doubting yourself or thinking you've gone too far. Glad this one worked out!!

  4. I want to make this! It looks like it has a beautiful texture.

  5. kirby - thanks so much girl!

    hw - it was great toasted with peanut butter! :)

    shannalee i'm glad it came out well too, hope you're able to make this.

    claire - definitely make this, it's incredibly moist and filling.