Thursday, February 19, 2015

Banana & Coconut Bread (not cake) - with yeast

I met Dillon Kesur on one of those food forums on facebook - and his rustic cooking and his love for food instantly caught my attention. He is just amazing with yeast and wild pears and edible flowers. He can cook any kind of food. The best part being - he is a very humble human being - needless to say I grew to admire him and connected with him on social media. I have learn a lot from him.

The other day he posted a picture of a banana and coconut bread using yeast - yes, it was actually a bread. Loved the flavors he used and how beautiful the crumb looked. I had to bake this bread. Thankfully, I did have 2 brown bananas that needed to be put to good use. I wanted to make it a bit sweeter as I cannot give up sugar completely - so, I added a bit of sugar to the dough. It turned out to be an amazing lightly sweet banana and coconut bread with hints of sesame. It was loved by my bread loving husband Mr. A and even our Lil Miss A.

Thank you Dillon for another gem of a bread recipe.

As he explained in his recipe - if you know the Jim Lahey No Knead Bread and the Ken Forkish Method (you can google them both) - making such breads becomes easy. 

I did not have any sourdough starter - so used yeast directly and made the sticky lacey dough along with the flavors of the bread. But, if you have a sourdough starter (I have the recipe for Sourdough Bread which has the starter recipe at the very beginning) make use of it.


2 bananas - mashed
1/2 cup coconut flakes
1 1/2 cups milk
3 cups bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons sugar (optional)
2 cardamom pods - crushed (optional)
1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast
2 tablespoons sesame seeds (for topping)


In a large bowl combine mashed banana, coconut flakes, sugar, milk, cardamom,flour, yeast and salt and mix with a wooden spoon till all is blended well. and you get a goopy and sticky mixture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest in a warm place for about 16 to 18 hours.
After the 16 to 18 hours the dough will have almost doubled in size and will be covered in bubbles.
Remove the dough on a lightly floured work surface and fold it over on itself about 2 to 3 times.
Use a little flour to keep dough from sticking to work surface or to your fingers - do not use more then 1 tablespoon at a time and not more then 4 tablespoons in total (else the bread will become dense). Shape dough into a ball. Take a parchment paper and put some flour on the surface. Place the round shaped dough, seam side down and cover with a huge bowl. Let it sit for 2 hours undisturbed.
When it is ready, dough will be more than double in size and will not readily spring back when poked with a finger.
About one and half hours after you have kept the dough for its second rise preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Put a 6- to 8-quart cast iron pan in oven as it heats. After 2 hours of the dough resting - carefully remove pot from oven. Pick the parchment paper with dough inside and slide it into the pot. Shake pan once or twice to get even dough distribution. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on the surface. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cut after it has cooled down and relish with some coffee or tea and a dollop of butter.

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