Yeasted Banana Sandwich Bread
For Bread 39, and for the first loaf of bread I made at this new house, I decided to pull out another favorite of mine – Yeasted Banana Sandwich Bread. I happened to have an overripe banana in the fridge, and I prefer this bread over any kind of sweet banana bread any day. I wrote about the banana sandwich bread back in 2011, but I’ve made it since then – more than once, I’m sure – because it’s easy, and the results are so satisfying. Not only is this the banana bread that I always fall back to; if I make sandwich bread, this is what I usually make. It’s tender, moist, and a little sweet. It’s a perfect loaf of bread for toast with raspberry jam, for a PB&J, or for French Toast.
My favorite sandwich bread. Slightly sweet, it's great for peanut butter and jelly or French Toast. It works well with a substitution of up to 1/3 whole wheat flour.
- 3 cups bread flour (I substituted 1 cup of whole wheat flour for 1 cup of the bread flour) (around 400g)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast (mine was active dry; if you're concerned about whether your yeast is alive, proof in milk at 105F with a pinch of sugar)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons butter/margarine
- 1 banana
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and knead on medium with the dough hook for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and tacky.
Or - if mixing by hand, combine dry ingredients. Mash your banana, melt your butter, and combine with the milk and honey. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients until a dough forms, then knead (preferably in the bowl) for about 10 minutes, until dough is smooth.
Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and proof in a warm place for an hour, until dough has doubled in size. I usually preheat my oven for 1-2 minutes to create a warm space.
Turn out dough onto a floured or oiled surface and pat into a rectangle. Fold like a letter to form a loaf, pinching the seams into the dough after each fold to increase the surface tension. Repeat if necessary if the dough is too slack. Place in a greased 8.5-x-4.5-inch loaf pan (although 9x5 is ok too). Spray with cooking spray, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for another hour, until the dough has risen about an inch above the top of the loaf pan.
Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes. The temperature of the bread will be 190F if you take its temperature. Remove from loaf pan and cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. I can usually get 16 slices per loaf.