Thursday, November 11, 2010

Banana Feather Loaf

As I mentioned in one of my more recent posts, I hadnt been feeling well in the last couple of days. I thought I was better yesterday but was unexpectedly hit with a wave of nausea. Anyway, the staple food item of someone sick is toast. Now, I love bread but as I watch what I eat I reserve it for Shabbat only. I decided however, that being sick was a case for leniency. The only catch was that I didnt have any bread around. The likelihood is that I wouldnt have touched store bought bread anyway because after baking my own for so long, store bought just wouldnt do. As it happened, I had one lone banana left sitting in my fridge and it hit me that this would be THE perfect time to make Rose Levy Beranbaum's Banana Feather Loaf. So I got to baking. Wow, was I impressed. This bread is dangerously good. Living up to its name, the crumb of this loaf is indeed very light and extremely moist. Its crust is crunchy and crisp and so good. The bread retained the fragrance of banana and while some banana flavor remained in the crust, it was gone by the next day. I made this as a regular sandwich loaf with no steaming and no stone. I also omitted the milk (no dairy bread!) and used oil instead of butter or margarine. Sometimes, I think it pays to be sick. This bread is going straight to Yeastspotting!

Banana Feather Loaf
adapted from The Bread Bible

1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp honey
1/4 tsp yeast

Flour Mix and Dough:
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp yeast
4 tsp oil
1 very ripe banana, lightly mashed
1 tsp salt

For the sponge, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, whisking until smooth, to incorporate air, about two minutes. Combine the dry ingredients for the dough and sprinkle over the sponge. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to ferment for one to four hours at room temperature. The sponge should rise up to form cracks in the flour mixture. When ready to make your dough, add the banana and oil to the bowl and mix to form a shaggy dough. Allow to rest fifteen minutes. When the rest period is over, knead until a dough that is smooth and elastic is formed. Place in a greased bowl to rise until doubled. Gently deflate the dough and shape into a loaf. Place in a greased 8x4 inch pan and allow to proof until the dough rises above the pan, one to two hours. Preheat the oven to 375 towards the end of proofing. Bake until golden brown and delicious and a thermometer registers about 190. Remove the bread from the oven and set on a rack. When cool enough to touch, unmold the loaf from its pan. Cool completely.

1 comment:

Matilda said...

This looks yummy and... no butter for banana bread!? I HAVE to try this.