Yeasted Banana Sandwich Bread: A new recipe with a-peel.

yeasted-banana-sandwich-bread

It all started with an orange. That’s right, an orange…

My dear husband had been on an orange kick and our fruit bowl had been overflowing with them for weeks. Finally we were down to one lonely orb, and the fruit fiend had moved on to apples.  I didn’t really feel like eating an orange myself, but didn’t want it to go to waste.

Looking through my cookbooks, I can across a recipe for sandwich bread that called for one peeled, seeded and chopped orange to be added to the dough before mixing and kneading. The author said that the orange just broke up and dissolved into the dough and flavored the bread without adding any chunks, making it great for sandwiches. I tried it out and it was a winner for sure.

Fast forward a few weeks and our big bowl of apples had given way to a mountain of yellow skinned bananas that were starting to show signs of over-ripening. “Hey!” said I. “If an orange will work, why not a banana?”

I wasn’t sure at first how much banana to use so I tossed in one whole small banana. I had to add more milk to the dough, so I knew the bread could handle a whole medium banana, and that is what I’ve used ever since. In my mind I was just picturing a bread that would make a nice slice to eat with butter, but you’ll be amazed at the different ways our taste tested thought to use this bread. More on this later.

I know you probably have bananas in your fruit bowl and inspiration in your heart, so let’s get going on our Yeasted Banana Sandwich Bread.

Grab some very ripe bananas from the counter or the freezer. The Freezer?! Yes, the freezer. Bananas freeze very well in or out of their peels, so toss ‘em in the chiller instead of the trash next time they start to ripen before you can use them all.  You’ll need one of medium size, or about 3/4 cup total banana.

Place in the bucket of your bread machine, or the bowl of your stand mixer the following:

• 1 cup lukewarm milk

• 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour*

• 2 tablespoon butter, room temperature

• 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

• 1 teaspoon salt

• 2 tablespoons honey

• 1 medium-sized bananas, cut into chunks, about 3/4 cup

*if you choose to use All-Purpose flour, adding a tablespoon of vital wheat gluten is recommended for better structure.

Program for the dough cycle and let the machine do the work. If you are using a stand mixer, knead on second speed for about 4 to 5 minutes.

Regardless of mixing and kneading method, be sure to check the consistency of the dough and adjust with additional flour and liquid as needed. You’re looking for a soft, smooth dough with a little bit of tackiness to it.

At the end of the dough cycle/first rise, the dough will be doubled in size and very fragrant with banana-y goodness. You’ll see small flecks of banana throughout the dough, but shouldn’t really have any big chunks at this point.

Spritz a 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″  loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat it into a rough rectangle slightly narrower than your loaf pan, and about twice as long.

Fold the top third of the dough to the center of the rectangle and press the seam firmly with the flat of your hand.  Tuck and push the roll of dough slightly away from you to tighten it somewhat.  This folding process builds internal structure into your loaf and helps ensure a good strong rise.

Repeat by folding the dough over once again until it meets the counter top. Seal that seam well and give the dough a tuck and push again. You’ll see the stretch across the top of the loaf, and that’s a good thing.

Place the dough log seam-side down in the pan and press it firmly with your hand. You need to dough to fill the corners of the pan now, as it rises it tends to go up, not out.

Cover with greased plastic wrap or a shower cap and let rise for 45 to 60 minutes.

Check it out. When viewed from the side, the dome of the bread has crested the edge of the pan by about 1 inch, so this bread is ready for the oven.

Bake at 350°F for 35 to 45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the bread registers 190°F.

Turn the bread out onto a rack to cool completely before slicing.

The banana in the bread makes for a moist, tender loaf with just enough hint of sweetness. When I served this for taste testing, there were ideas flying around the room faster than rumors at an Oscar party… “OH, this would be great with honey  and peanut butter”.  “Mmmm, I’d use this for ham sandwiches”. “How about French toast?” (that one had me craving, and yes, it makes amazing French toast.)

On the second test, I served the bread with salted molasses butter that I found on Tastespotting.com. I doubled the molasses and it was simply spectacular with this bread. Charlotte, our new recipe developer had a small bite and walked away, proclaiming it “far too addicting” for her to stay nearby.  I’ll take that as a home run  any day of the week.

Please bake, rate and review our recipe for Yeasted Banana Sandwich Bread.

Print just the recipe.

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. epicharis

    Thank you, this looks INCREDIBLE! I’ve been looking for the perfect white sandwich bread all my life and nothing (not even the Walter Sands bread) has done it for me, but this just may be it! I’m going to have to make this over the weekend! I may try an orange, too!
    I really hope you like it. I would make it once a week if it were up to me. Be sure to let us know what you think. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  2. Rinrin111

    Hey, I’ve been making a yeasted banana bread very similar to this for awhile now! I feel like my idea has been stolen :). I’ve been using all-purpose flour and haven’t had any structural issues. It’s great with nutella.
    Great minds think alike :). I do love it toasted with Nutella and more bananas on top. Happy baking! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  3. "Paul from Ohio"

    I love how the idea for this recipe, evolved! And the really useful tip to freeze bananas that will be over ripe before we eat them – especially if we’ll not be making banana bread. Absolutely going to try this, next loaf up! Walter Sands white bread baked up yesterday – love it. Thinking I’ll be loving this option too. Thanks MJ for the recipe and the tips – always a pleasure to stop by.

    Thanks for your enthusiasm, Paul. Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  4. CorgiFur

    Definitely on my to do list for the weekend! Have made a similar recipe from the Tassajara Bread Book for years. Includes mostly whole wheat and orange zest and cinnamon along with the banana and honey. It too makes fabulous PB sandwiches or toast. Family thought I was nuts at first. So glad to see you spreading the joy of banana bread beyond the usual quick bread!
    I’ll have to find that one in my copy. Never thought myself of putting the banana and orange in at the same time. Thanks for sharing. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  5. PTinVA

    Hmmm, the Orange Sandwich Bread sounds good to me too as I have a husband who always left a lonely orange in the fruit bowl as well. Can you tell me where to find that recipe?
    Hmmm, I *think* it is a Beth Hensperber book. Let me take a look around at home and see if I can narrow it down.
    P.S. I really can’t chide my hubby for eating so much fruit, he’s lost just about 60#! Go DAVE! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
    1. Jenn

      I have a recipe for Orange Bread from my grandma’s cookbook called Woman’s Home Companion Cookbook. I have the 1955 edition but it was originally published in 1942.

      1 packet yeast
      1/4 cup warm water
      2 tsp grated orange rind
      2 cups lukewarm orange juice
      1/3 cup sugar
      2 tsp salt
      1/4 melted shortening or salad oil
      6 cups of sifted flour (give or take)
      Sprinkle yeast over warm water. After 5 to 8 minutes, stir; add all orange rind, orange juice, sugar, salt and shortening; add enough flour to make a stiff dough; mix thoroughly. Turn out on lightly floured board and knead about 10 minutes until smooth and satiny. Place dough in warm greased bowl; brush surface very lightly with melted fat; cover and let rise in warm place, about 2 hours until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down thoroughly; turn out on board; divide in two equal portions and mold into balls; let rest, closely covered, for 10 minutes. Shape into loaves. Place in two greased loaf pans; brush tops with melted fat; cover and let rise about 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Bake in moderate oven (375 F) about 45 minutes. Makes 2 1 lb. loaves.

      I have not baked this yet so I cannot say how things turn out but I have used this cookbook extensively and the recipes are usually spot on perfect. What I like so much about this book is that they don’t use so much sugar or butter/oil as you see in many newer recipes. I suppose since it was out originally in 1942 and rationing during war years they had to make tasty foods without using too much of the precious items like butter and sugar. They also have recipes for peach bread, tomato bread, apricot bread, etc., all yeast breads.

      The banana bread sounds wonderful and I will have to try it. I bet it would make a fantastic Monte Cristo as well!

      Jenn, thanks so much for sharing! Looks fabulous, and now I need to go get my hands on said cookbook. I like the way you think about the Monte Cristo ! Susan

  6. Anna M.

    Could this be baked directly in the bread machine, or would it burn or be funny given the extra sugars, etc. from the banana?
    If it is bread machine-friendly, is there a general rule-of-thumb for scaling down from a big bread machine to a smaller one (ie. a mini zo)? I like the idea of a yeasted banana bread, but don’t have a stand mixer or the time to make a loaf fully by hand during the week.
    I don’t recommend that you bake this in your bread machine. The bread tends to brown quickly and sometimes it is necessary to tent the top with foil. It would be difficult to monitor this in the machine. ~Amy

    Hi Anna,
    I do use the bread machine on the dough cycle for this bread, so you could do that, then give it an overnight fridge rise (in the pan) then bake in the morning. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  7. mamsis

    Perfect timing! Three over-ripe bananas on the counter and too much milk in the cooler (we milk 3 Alpine goats every day!). I made one batch in the Zo; it’s kneading as I write. I also mixed up one batch in my processor – I had to add almost 3/4 cup more flour to get a soft but tacky dough. I did sub half the bread flour with your white whole-wheat flour, but I thought that would have made the dough drier, not wetter. Maybe it needed more time to absorb some liquid? I’ll post the results of my side-by-side batches – but I had to tell you the dough SMELLS WONDERFUL! Can’t wait to bake and slice and slather with all sorts of suggested toppings. And I have grandsons visiting on the week-end – what a treat for them, too! Thanks for yet another great recipe.
    Hi there,
    Wow, you are one busy baker today! With the whole wheat, you may want to let the partially kneaded dough rest for about 10 minutes before adding more flour. Once the flour has absorbed for awhile, then you can adjust as needed. Enjoy the bread, and the company of your family! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  8. bsteimle

    I’m thinking toasted with cinnamon and sugar would be pretty amazing. This bread looks very interesting and I can’t wait to try it! But I’d also like the orange version. Is the recipe different?
    I haven’t made the orange one in about 6 months, so I can’t remember how different they were. My mind seems to think it was a fairly even switch out, but I’m planning on hunting down the original recipe tonight. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  9. robynb

    If you find that original recipe with the whole orange, I too would LOVE to see it (or know where to find it). I just googled and couldn’t find anything that looked right. I’ve several recipes for a cake using whole oranges like that, but am very intrigued by a yeast bread doing so. Thanks!
    Hi there,
    Looking up that recipe is on my plan for tonight, hopefully I can lay my hands on it fairly easily. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  10. mamsis

    Wow, this is really delicious, finely textured, slightly sweet, and soft. The only issue I had was the raising – this dough literally exploded out of the pan. I put one batch in your 9″ Pain de Mie pan (sans lid) and one in a 12″ x 4″ loaf pan. After 40 minutes, both had risen 3 or 4 inches above the rim of the pan! Why? I used perhaps less yeast than called for, added a Tbs. of vital wheat gluten, and used about half white wheat flour, the rest according to the recipe. The first rise seemed normal, but the loaf rise was almost scary. Any ideas?
    Once in awhile, I’ve had that happen with a perfectly normal loaf of bread, it just rises super well and surprises the heck out of me. I figure it’s one of those perfect storm kind of things. Everything just clicked. Water temp was spot on, air temp, humidity, dough temp. etc. combine to just make this freakishly perfect loaf that has a mind of its own. Anyway, that has been my experience. I’d love to hear other theories. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  11. MGW960W

    I made this bread early this morning, and it is both beautiful and delicious. I used half KAF white whole wheat, subbed one tablespoon of oil for the equal amount of butter (so my spoon would be oiled for the honey), and used one sad looking brown banana. I mixed it in a bread machine and baked it in the oven. It made a perfect PB&J sandwich for lunch. I, too, had to add additional flour, but it is a very cloudy, humid day here. Or maybe my old banana was unusually moist. The second rise was very fast and I had to scurry to have the oven preheated before it rose too much. I’ll certainly make it again. Thanks again for all the great recipes.

    Reply
  12. masonhow

    Wow! I made this bread this morning and it is fantastic. Everyone loved it. I, too, had bread that was rising up out of the pan. It was an incredibly fast rise. I may try making a loaf to take to work using the overnight fridge rise. I just hope it doesn’t go crazy in the fridge, though. I don’t think anyone will believe me when I tell them it’s banana bread!

    Reply
  13. LOIS

    My family hates banana bread, but I had a sad, past-its-prime banana sitting about. So I tried this recipe in place of my usual weekly sandwich bread. What a great success! Lovely texture, and no one can tell there’s banana in it. (I can a little in the crust). I did need an extra third cup of flour to get even to a very soft but cohesive dough… Great recipe.

    Reply
  14. xbaber

    This recipe is a keeper and so was the bread. I made it one afternoon for sandwiches the next day at lunch. Even the last slice was moist more than 24 hours after baking. My banana was small, so I used an extra half banana, which meant I needed more flour (about 1/2-3/4 c), but it was a rainy day. I used AP flour and it rose beautifully without the aid of additional vital wheat gluten.

    Reply
  15. Rstrst

    We loved this bread. Made it for after school snack, and then used it for French toast for supper. Thanks.

    French Toast for supper? What a great use for this delicious bread! Thanks for sharing. Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  16. plmezzano

    OMG this bread is delicious. It was easy to make and gosh oh so good. I made sandwich rye bread too today but I had a little problem. Right before I was going to bake the rye, my power went out. (I was also proofing this banana bread at them time). I put the rye in the fridge (where it would stay cool, while the power was out) so it would not overproof but I think it did. It just never got that oven spring and was a kinda small. Good flavor though. But, this banana bread was just soooo soooo good. Thanks KAF,

    Reply
  17. gpyrocat

    I am a little sad that I missed this some how and made your chocolate chip banana muffins instead. I have no bananas left in the house, fresh or frozen (gotta be a first) so I’m adding extra bananas to the list because this looks too awesome not to do this week! PS – the muffins were perfect as always, but I could eat this bread every day, muffins, not so much.

    Reply
  18. gpyrocat

    i had to resort to hiding a banana to make this but it was worth the effort. It came out awesome. I used regular KAF and added vital wheat gluten. Fabulous rise! As soon as it was cool enough (for me) I had a small slice spread with a touch of butter. Heaven on earth! Very fine grain, only slightly sweet – this could easily be my regular sandwich bread especially since it is so easy to make. Next time I will try it with some white whole wheat.
    Tee hee, it’s banana hide and seek time! If you do need to freeze banana, try labeling it “chicken livers” or such so no one steals it on you! ;) ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  19. cassandraoftroy

    I don’t know if anyone is likely to see this, but I’ve been working my way through the backlog of blog posts and found this recipe and I’d really like to try it, but I have a question. I don’t have an 8 1/2″ x 4 1/2″ loaf pan; I have a 8″x4″ pan and a 9″x5″ pan. Which would be the better bet to use, and should I adjust the recipe at all? Thanks!

    You’d best use the 9″ x 5″ pan, Cassandra, just to be safe. And there’s no need to adjust the recipe, though you might check for doneness a few minutes sooner. The loaf will be wider and flatter, but will still taste wonderful. PJH

    Reply
  20. Jeannie

    Hi MaryJane, I just baked this banana bread and glad to say it was so soft and delicious! This would be my go to recipe now whenever I have leftover bananas! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    Reply
  21. Heather

    Before baking, I read the recipe, the recipe’s blog and all the comments. I knew I may have to add some additional flour. I had to add A LOT. I should have trusted what KAF bloggers have taught me – use less liquid in the summer! After adding more flour I got it to almost right. It rose well but I had to plop it into the pan. Loaf looked okay on the outside but I knew it wouldn’t be right on the inside. I decided to try again.
    While the first loaf was cooling, I called the Baker’s Hotline. I had two questions; should I start with less liquid or add more flour and, if using a frozen banana should I thaw first? Jon answered my call and, as always, gave great advice. He suggested starting with 3/4 of the liquid and adding more if needed. He also advised that the banana should be room temp.
    I made the bread again heeding Jon’s advice and the bread turned out AWESOME – inside and out.
    The first loaf was just a bit too moist and is currently in the freezer waiting to be used in a french toast casserole. I think that the blog and recipe should be edited to reflect a range of liquid like a lot of other KAF recipes.

    Reply

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