Friday, February 18, 2011

heavenly cinnamon swirl nanner bread.



don't you even start with me. yes, all i do is bake, blah blah. let's move on.

this bread is heaven (see above!). armed with my winter holiday 2010 culinary partner-in-crime - who you may know from this roasted bruschetta - this was my first attempt at making "real" bread with "real" yeast. i've always been somewhat weary (and by weary, i mostly mean lazy) when it comes to making bread that I could just as easily and cheaply buy from a professional. but this bread might just be worth it. all you need is a few hours at home, a large countertop, and a buddy to help you roll the dough up at the end. we played a rousing game of scrabble while waiting for the dough to rise, but i could imagine boggle would also work.



i also feel it's worth mentioning that we rolled our dough out a wee bit too thin, which led to a few tears and the cinnamon leaking out one side of the final loaf. this then created an oozey, gooey brown sugar cinnamon waterfall of pure joy when we baked it. i would, under no circumstances, recommend preparing this bread any other way.


ingredients:

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 bread flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon cinnamon




get 'er goin:

combine the water, yeast, and a pinch of the sugar in a bowl and set it a aside a few minutes to get frothy.

add the remaining sugar, yogurt, bananas, bread flour, salt, and vanilla. knead the dough until the sides of the bowl are clean and the dough starts to get elastic. add in 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 loaf pan with a little baking spray.

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 (with a friend!), 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.

finally! 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. break off a slice and eat right away with a dollop of honey. make sure to save some pieces for tomorrow and the next day - the bread really gets more and more delicious with time :)