Break out of your same old banana bread routine. Use those old bananas to make this Banana Whole Wheat Yeast Bread. It’s slightly sweet with a sugar-cardamom mixture sprinkled over the top.
Aging bananas on your kitchen counter? Avoid the same old banana quick bread routine and break out your bread machine for this slightly sweet treat. Try it toasted or use it a day or two old to make your own melba toast
I almost never “bake” in my machine but I use it whenever possible to mix, knead, and proof (let it rise) the dough. Works beautifully for this recipe. If you don’t have a bread machine, you can also use a stand mixer to mix and knead.
Kitchen Secrets for this recipe:
- If your bananas are not very soft, you may need to add some extra water. Peek at the dough after the bread machine has been running a few minutes to determine if more is needed. If you aren’t sure what the dough should look like, check out these pictures.
- Substitute 1/4 cup sugar for honey if desired.
- Pecans, raisins, and dates are my favorites but don’t let that stop you from being creative with different dried fruits and nuts.
Forming the braid:
P.S. Eat within 24 hours for maximum enjoyment. Wrap individual slices and freeze for future cravings.
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- 1 egg
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons butter, cut up
- 1 small ripe banana, mashed (or approx 1/2 cup)
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 3/4 to 2 1/4 cup bread flour (can substitute all purpose unbleached; if using bleached may need to add a little more)
- 2 1/4 teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast
- 1/2 c. toasted pecans or almonds
- 1/3 c. raisins
- 1/4 c. chopped dates
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom (this is the secret ingredient–won’t be the same without it
- Combine everything but last three ingredients in bread machine pan in order given unless your bread machine gives specific directions otherwise concerning liquids and dry ingredients. Set on dough cycle. When machine signals it's time for "add-in", add nuts and dried fruit.
- At the end of the cycle if dough has risen to double its size, remove dough from pan. If not double, leave dough in the machine until it has doubled. Remove to lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
- Divide into 3 equal portions and form in to 3 cylinders each about 12 inches long. Braid as shown in the picture tucking the ends under. Transfer to cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Let rise for about 45 minutes covered with soft tea towel.
- (If the idea of braiding intimidates you, divide dough into three balls and place side by side in a loaf pan.)
- Brush milk lightly over raised loaf. Combine sugar with cardamom and sprinkle on top of braid. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until done. May need to be covered with foil after about 15 minutes in oven as the loaf gets brown before it gets done in the middle. If you have a quick read digital thermometer which I recommend if you intend to make very much bread, the temperature should be close to 190°F
Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:
- To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer, add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on low to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Using dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3 and continue beating/kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic, about 5-10 minutes. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape rolls as indicated in recipe.
- If making by hand, combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic, a process that will likely take 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. Place dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate dough gently and shape rolls as indicated in recipe
- Please note: If you substitute regular yeast for instant or bread machine yeast, you must dissolve it first before adding to the dry ingredients. Stir it into about 1/4 cup of the lukewarm liquid called for in the recipe. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Add to other wet ingredients and then add dry ingredients. Proceed as directed to knead and shape rolls.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 166Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 85mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 6gProtein: 4g