It happens to everyone. You buy a bunch of bananas, and inevitably a few of them get a little too brown. Banana bread is the easy answer, but sometimes the response is, "Banana bread again?" You could make banana muffins, but who are we fooling? That's just banana bread in a different form.
You could make banana cake, but that's a different column.
Instead, you can bake those bananas into a yeast bread, roll it up with some sugar to sweeten it and some cinnamon to give it a little kick, and you've got a completely different kind of banana bread. Perfect for breakfast or brunch. Or a snack.
If you don't have Greek-style yogurt, you could use regular yogurt. But since regular yogurt has more moisture, you might need to add a bit more flour to compensate. The dough should be soft and supple, but not sticky when you're done kneading.
The scent when this bread is baking is amazing, with the banana and the cinnamon mingling with the sweet yeastiness. The only thing better is eating it.
- 1/2 cup lukewarm water
- 3 teaspoons yeast
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup Greek-style yogurt
- 1/2 cup mashed overripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
- 2 3/4 cups (12 3/8 ounces) bread flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
In the bowl of your stand mixer, combine the water, yeast, and a pinch of the sugar and set it a aside a few minutes to get frothy.
Add the remaining sugar, yogurt, bananas, bread flour, salt, and vanilla. Knead with the dough hook until the cleans the sides of the bowl and start to get elastic.
Add the olive oil and continue kneading until the mixture is smooth, silky, and elastic.
Form the dough into a ball and put back into the bowl. Drizzle it with a little oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled in size, about an hour.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Spray a 9 x 15 loaf pan with a little baking spray, if you want the extra insurance that it will come out.
Flour your work surface and knead the dough a bit, then roll it out into a rectangle about 9 x 15 inches.
Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon and spread it evenly over the rectangle, leaving about 3 inches un-sugared at the far end. Roll the dough up, jellyroll-style, so you've got a 9-inch long log. Pinch to seal the ends and the seam.
Place the dough seam-side down in the pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.
Bake at 325 degrees for 35-40 minutes, until dark golden brown.
Remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool completely on a rack before cutting.