ANNOUNCING: Change is part of life, and apparently, it's part of blogging, too. As of September 5, 2013, I'm merging The Virtual Goody Plate with Disco Mom Takes on the World and whatever else may henceforth spill from my fingertips (and kitchen), into one great new blog. I hope you'll join me there in exclaiming, "THIS IS AWESOMELAND."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bread Week #4 Banana Sandwich Bread

I know, it's an unusual name and you're trying to figure out what exactly it is. It's definitely not the kind of banana bread you're used to (though I did recently try a new basic banana bread recipe and it's the best...wait for it.) This is a yeasted white bread with a deliciously chewy texture and light crispy crust that happens to have banana in it. Interesting. In a scrumptious way.I made it in the bread machine, yes. But remember, you can easily make it by hand. The reason it is called sandwich bread is because it makes the best darn PBJ you've ever had. Once I baked it and tasted it, I found the banana flavor so slight that I realized it could be used for any kind of sandwich, sweet or savory, so we had sandwich night for dinner. The kids had grilled cheese - oh, it toasted up so beautifully in the pan! Ed and I had BLT's, and he raved about the bread, and couldn't name the "secret" ingredient until tasting the bread on its own. The next day, the few leftover pieces made awesome, fragrant toast. And if there had been any more, I know it would made amazing French toast.
This is one of those I-never-would-have-thought-of-it-but-I'm-so-glad-to-have-it-now breads. Make it today. Or file it away for when you have 1 or 2 ripe bananas and no idea what to make for dinner.

Banana Sandwich Bread
1 cup water*
1 T vegetable or nut oil (I used walnut oil)
6 ounces ripe banana, cut into chunks (about 1 1/2 bananas)
3 cups bread flour
1/4 cup dry buttermilk powder*
1 T gluten**
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast

1. Place all the ingredients in the pan according to the order in the manufacturer's instructions. Set crust on medium and program for the Basic cycle; press Start.

2. When the baking cycle ends, immediately remove the bread from the pan and place it on a rack. Let cool to room temperature before slicing. Makes one 1 1/2 pound loaf.

*You may substitute 1 cup buttermilk for the water and buttermilk powder. You can find buttermilk powder in the baking aisle at the grocery store.

**What is gluten?! Also called vital wheat gluten, it is the natural protein portion of wheat. It is responsible for the stretchiness of dough and for the shapes that baked goods hold, and is often added to whole grain breads to make them bake up lighter. I have just discovered gluten as an ingredient so I'm experimenting a bit with its use, but it was included in this original recipe. You can get it from Arrowhead Mills, King Arthur Flour, and other manufacturers.

Recipe from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook: A Master Baker's 300 Favorite Recipes for Perfect-Every-Time Bread - From Every Kind of Machine by Beth Hensperger

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