Search This Blog

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Of banana walnut bread and delayed gratification

Compared to the anticipation of homemade bread, I prefer the instant gratification derived from  all things that can be churned out with a flick of the magic whisk.

Delayed gratification,  experts said,  is the hallmark of the intelligent.  Let's just say I belong to the majority of the population, and like many  in the pursuit of instant gratification, are responsible for bringing a different kind of dimension in life.

Understandably,  many of life's good things demand fuss and waiting upon. Especially the problem of having to wait  before  a lovely loaf of bread is ready and even then, one doesn't plunge his head into a hot loaf, does he ?

All inconvenience was  forgotten  when the waft of fresh banana bread filled the house. At times like this,  store bought banana walnut bread pales in comparison  and yes,  I concede, the waiting was worth it.

Makes one banana walnut loaf.

Water roux :
20 g bread flour
100g plain water

In a little cooking pot, stir bread flour in water and cook until the temperature reaches 65 C. Roux should congeal to porridge consistency, leaving trails with a whisk.

Remove pot from heat.

Set aside 80g of the roux and leave to cool.

Main bread ingredients:

250g bread flour
3 Tsp  milk powder
80g Tang Zhong / water roux
100 ml warm water
4g salt
25g sugar
5g dry yeast
22g butter

Condiments :

1 handful of  toasted, coarsely chopped walnuts
1 Delmonte banana coarsely cut to bite size

Combine dry ( main bread ) ingredients, roux, water, butter and knead for about 20 minutes until dough is elastic and smooth.  Add  walnuts and 1/2 of the bananas 15 minutes into the kneading.

Leave dough to proof  in a warm place, covered , for 1 hour. If using a bread machine as I did, set machine to dough cycle and retrieve the proofed dough after 1.5 hours.

On a lightly floured surface, tease and stretch proofed dough to an oblong, about 2  hand span long and 1  hand span wide.

Scatter remaining 1/2 of the cut bananas . Roll up the dough tightly , like a Swiss roll, and transfer to an dusted bread pan.

Proof dough for another 1 hour. Brush dough with milk just before baking.  Bake bread at 180C for 30 minutes.  Or, for folks like me who used the bread machine, let it proof the second time in the machine for an hour. Finally set machine to bake cycle.

Remove bread from pan and cool thoroughly before serving.


  1. This I definitely gotta try..Been meaning to bake some bread for a while but I keep running to the supermarket instead..but not anymore..Definitely trying this..Thanks for the recipe..

    PS: Dont you just love the smell of freshly baked bread wafting through the house? I know I do!

  2. It says "scatter cut bananas" -- But earlier, the recipe calls for banana to be added to the kneading process. Appreciate if you could clarify. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for pointing out the inconsistency. I have made the clarification in the post : 1/2 to be used for kneading, the remaining half to be added later. This way, the kneaded dough has the aroma of blended banana and the remaining chopped bananas allows it to show up in the end product.