The Bread Baking Babes are Banana Cinnamon Buns this month. Actually to quote Elizabeth, this month’s host, the recipe is for Wild Banana (Peel and All) Bread/ Buns! A friend of hers raved about the banana bread he had made using the Washington Post recipe for “Don’t Peel Your Banana Bread”. So she thought of this method to start of our new year’s baking.
After much experimenting, she came up with a recipe for us to try. Her recipe is based on one from the “Tassajara Bread Book” by Edward Espe Brown. Also a recipe from “Bread Alone” by Judith Ryan Hendricks, and the method for using ALL of the banana in the Washington Post’s recipe. These Banana Cinnamon Buns are shaped much like Korvapuustit, Finnish Cinnamon Buns (see 1:18 for the shaping process). Korvapuustit translates roughly as “slapped or cuffed ears” which probably comes from their appearance. This dough can also be made into a loaf.
I further tweaked Elizabeth’s recipe a bit. We traditionally cook with green raw plantain peel but not with regular banana peel. I understand that banana peel is edible but wasn’t convinced enough to take the leap with it in my Banana Cinnamon Buns. So I added mashed banana and no peel to the bread dough. I get a good number of varieties of banana here. I chose to use a couple of Robusta bananas here (a Cavendish descendant).
Elizabeth’s recipe works with a starter, hence the “Wild” in her bread name. I went with an overnight yeasted starter instead because it was easier. As for the filling, I added some banana to it for a stronger banana flavour. This made for a somewhat gloopy filling which made shaping a bit difficult as you can see from my rolls. The work round this would be to a small amount of bread crumbs to firm up the filling. Refrigerating the filling also helps as long as it still is of spreadable consistency.
Banana Cinnamon Buns
For the Overnight Starter :
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/8 tsp dried yeast
For the Dough :
- 1/8 cup milk
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- All the overnight starter
- 1 medium sized banana mashed
- 2 3/4 to 3 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 1 tsp salt
For the Filling:
- 50 gm salted butter soft at room temperature
- 4 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 small to medium banana mashed
- Powdered cinnamon to taste
- Powdered dried ginger to taste
- Bread crumbs or vanilla cake crumbs as required
Make the Overnight Starter :
- The previous night of baking these buns/ bread, mix together the ingredients for the overnight starter in a medium bowl. Cover and leave on the counter overnight (about 8 to 10 hours).
- The morning of making the bread, proof the yeast in lukewarm milk and sugar. Mix well and keep aside for 5 to 10 minutes till frothy.
Make the Dough :
- Using your hand or a kneading machine, mix together the overnight starter, the proofed yeast, 2 and 3/4 cups of flour and remaining ingredients for the dough. Knead well, adding as much more flour as required to make a dough of soft, smooth and elastic consistency. The dough should be just short of sticky.
- Shape the dough into a ball and put in a well-oiled bowl, turning to coat it well. Cover loosely and let it rise till double in volume, about 2 hours or so. In the meanwhile make the filling by mixing together all the filling ingredients in a bowl. It should be of spreadable consistency but not gloopy. Refrigerate till ready to use, if necessary.
For Loaves :
- Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a floured board. Divide into 2 equal pieces. For loaves, gently shape the dough into flat rectangles that are about 2 centimetres thick. Smear the filling over each rectangle and roll like jelly rolls, from the narrow side, to make 2 loaves. Put the rolls seam side down in parchment paper covered bread tins.
- Cover the tins with a damp clean tea towel and let rise at warm room temperature until almost double. To test if it has risen enough, flour your finger and press gently on the edge - it should very slowly spring back. For comparison, try pressing early on to see how it quickly springs back when the dough has not risen enough.
To Shape & Cut the Buns :
- Using a lightly floured wooden rolling pin, roll one of the two pieces of dough as thinly as you can, into a long rectangle. Evenly slather the top of the rectangle with half the filling. Roll the rectangle up as tightly as you can to form a long tube. Cut diagonally and use a chopstick or finger to press down the centres so that the spiral flares out. Place well apart on parchment covered cookie sheet. Repeat with the other piece of dough.
- See the link to the video in post above to understand the shaping process better. Cover the shaped buns with a damp tea towel and let sit in until they have almost doubled.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C (400F). Put the bread loaves in. After 15 minutes, turn the temperature down to 180C (350) and bake for another 25 to 30 minutes until they’re golden brown, done and sound hollow when tapped. Do the same for the buns but they will need a slightly shorter bake time. Half way through baking, turn the loaves/ buns around as with all that sugar, the bottoms of the buns especially, really want to burn.
- If you have made buns, place them still on the parchment paper on a footed rack on the counter to cool completely. If you have made bread, remove it from the pans, and place each loaf on its side to cool on the footed rack. If you wish to serve warm bread (of course you do), reheat it after it has cooled completely.
- To reheat any uncut bread, turn the oven to 200C (400F) for 5 minutes or so. Turn the oven OFF. Put the bread into the hot oven for about ten minutes. This will rejuvenate the crust and warm the crumb perfectly.
The Bread Baking Babes are –