This lightly sweetened blueberry banana yeast bread puts a new spin on banana bread!
The word banana bread conjures up a sweet and fragrant quick bread loaf often studded with toasted walnuts or chocolate chips. It is known for being a moist, almost cake-like bread made with the ripest of bananas.
But what if you want a banana bread that’s fluffier and lighter in texture? You experiment with a banana yeast bread!
Blueberry Banana Yeast Bread
When overripe bananas have overstayed their welcome on the kitchen counter, I instinctually make banana bread.
Nothing fancy. Just your regular banana bread loaded with sugar and brown sugar.
Let’s break that habit and try something a little different…with far less sugar!
Have you ever made banana bread leavened with yeast? Me, neither. That is, until I started testing the recipe for this blueberry banana yeast bread.
This yeast dough is very soft and stretchy!
Please follow the amounts listed in the directions. You may be tempted to add additional flour because the dough may seem “wet” as it mixes.
It may be a “wet” dough but can be easily scraped from the mixing bowl with the help of a spatula or bowl scraper.
Lightly flour your hands and work surface, if the dough is sticking.
Afraid to work with yeast?
Don’t be afraid! Armed with a digital kitchen thermometer, working with yeast (especially active dry yeast) is super easy!
Active dry yeast needs to be dissolved and re-activated in warm liquid before mixing. Ideally, you want the liquid between 100-115 degrees F.
Too cold and the yeast won’t wake up. Too hot and the yeast may die.
TIPS WHEN WORKING WITH YEAST DOUGH:
- Temperature affects dough. Use a kitchen thermometer to ensure the yeast is mixed with proper temperature liquids. (The one linked here is my favorite. I have the pink one! And no, it is NOT an affiliate link.)
- Temperature can also affect dough rising/proofing time. Optimal temperature is in the mid-70s, around room temperature.
- Keep the dough covered with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap to prevent an unwanted “skin” from forming. Do this when the dough is rising, as well as when you are forming the doughnut twists.
- Use a digital kitchen scale to divide dough equally. Equally portioned out dough pieces ensure even cooking times.
How to shape and roll banana yeast bread:
This recipe makes two 9×5-inch bread loaves. Once dough has finished it’s initial rise, divide the dough into two equal parts.
Working with one portion of dough at a time, roll dough out to 12 x 16-inch rectangle. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar over surface of dough. Top with frozen blueberries.
Beginning at the longer end, roll dough into a tight log. Slice log in half lengthwise. Pinch end seams shut.
Stretch each log to a length of about 8-inches. Twist the two logs the dough over each other to form a spiral.
Now, place that formed bread loaf in a bread pan and repeat process with the second portion of dough!
Why use frozen blueberries?
In my experience, frozen berries are easier to roll into breads. No worrying about crushing or exploding berries.
The frozen blueberries are much sturdier and retrain their shape even after baking. That being said, fresh blueberries may be used in this recipe as well.
Since this recipe makes two loaves, eat one now and save the other for another project! Once the second loaf starts to get stale, give it a second life as Blueberry Banana French Toast!
Blueberry Banana Yeast Bread
Lightly sweetened banana yeast bread swirled with blueberries and cinnamon sugar. This takes a new spin on the classic banana bread!
Yield: makes two 9x5 inch loafs
- 2 1/4 teaspoon (7 g) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup whole milk , warmed to 110 degrees F
- 1/3 cup (76 g) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- 2 Tablespoon (30 g) sour cream
- rounded 1/2 cup (175 g) mashed overripe bananas *
- 1 large egg, room temp
- 4 cup (568 g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 (50 g) cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 (50 g) cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- pinch salt
- 1 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
In the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve yeast and 1 teaspoon sugar in warm milk. Let mixture sit for 5 minutes to allow yeast to activate.
Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, melted butter, sour cream, mashed banana, and egg to mixing bowl. Whisk together.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Attach dough hook to stand mixer. Add flour to mixing bowl 1 cup at a time with the mixing running on low speed. Once all the flour has been added, increase to medium speed and knead for 3-5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
*The dough may look "sticky" and "wet" but it should easily scraped from the sides of the bowl. If not, continue to mix for another 2 minutes, then check again.
Transfer dough to a lightly greased large bowl. Cover and allow dough to rest for one hour at room temperature until doubled in volume.
Filling and Assembly:
Grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans. Line with parchment paper overhang, if desired. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.
Punch down risen dough. Divide into two equal pieces. Keep one dough covered while you work with other dough.
Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Roll dough out to a 12x16-inch rectangle. Sprinkle half of cinnamon sugar mixture over surface of dough. Sprinkle 3/4 cup frozen blueberries over sugar.
Starting at the long end of rectangle, roll dough into a tight log. Pinch seams together and place log seam-side down on work surface. Use a sharp knife to slice log in half lengthwise. Pinch cut seams shut.
Stretch each log to a length of about 8-inch. Twist the two logs of dough over each other to form a spiral or braid. Pinch ends together and place in one of the prepared bread loaf pans. Cover with plastic wrap and allow dough to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes until dough as puffed up.
Repeat steps with remaining dough.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Remove covers from bread pan. Bake bread for 38-40 minutes until golden brown on top and internal temperature of bread registers at least 185 degrees F.
Rotate bread pans midway through baking. If bread is browning too fast, cover with foil to prevent bread from burning.
Allow bread to remain in pan for 10 minutes after baking. Loosen bread from bread pan and unmold. Allow bread to cool on wire rack. Use a serrated bread knife to slice bread once cooled.
- The bread will have more "banana" flavor, the riper the banana.
- Store cooled bread in an air-tight container for up to three days. For longer storage, wrap well and freeze.
In my experience, frozen berries are easier to roll into breads.The frozen blueberries are much sturdier and retrain their shape even after baking. That being said, fresh blueberries may be used in this recipe as well.
All images and text ©The Little Epicurean