Happy Monday, everyone! Since it is the beginning of yet another work week, I figured that I would share this cinnamon raisin swirl banana bread with you, as it is the perfect breakfast to ward off those Monday blues. I’ve made plenty of different types of banana bread, but never one with yeast before, so when I saw this recipe, I got really excited. I’m not usually the type to make yeast breads (that’s Kramer’s department) , but the thought of warm, fluffy banana bread with a gooey cinnamon swirl was completely irresistible to me. It turns out, though, that this is one of the easiest breads that I have ever attempted, and it turned out beautifully, even with my novice skills. The bread pulled apart like a dream, revealing a soft, doughy bread with a cinnamon-raisin swirl that you just can’t get enough of. I even froze half of the loaf so that I could share it with my brother and his girlfriend when they visited, and it froze and thawed out perfectly! This bread is perfect toasted with a little bit of butter, or on its own straight from the bread box. I imagine that it would make some delicious French toast or bread pudding, too! Any way you slice it, this is one hell of a loaf of bread!
Mix together your yeast, water, and sugar in a medium sized bowl and set aside for a few minutes until it is frothy-looking.
Mash your bananas.
And add them to the bowl of yeast, along with the sugar, creme fraiche, flour, salt, and vanilla extract.
Knead the dough with your dough hook until it starts to clean off the sides of the bowl and looks elastic.
Add in the oil and continue to knead until the dough looks almost silky and smooth, but still elastic, just another few minutes.
Form the dough into a ball, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap until the dough has doubled in size, which will take an hour or so.
Now, place the dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll out into a rectangle, about 9×15 inches.
Sprinkle the cinnamon-sugar mixture over the dough, being sure to leave about two inches of empty space at one end, so you can roll it up.
Sprinkle the raisins over the cinnamon-sugar mixture, then start to roll the dough up as tightly and neatly as possible.
Place the rolled up dough in a lightly greased loaf pan and cover again in plastic wrap for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until it has again, doubled in size.
Bake at 325 degrees F for 40-50 minutes, until golden brown and set.
Allow to cool for 30 minutes, then remove from the loaf pan, place on a cooling rack, and allow to finish cooling completely before slicing.
Slice and enjoy toasted with a bit of butter on on its own!
- ½ cup lukewarm water
- 3 teaspoons active dry yeast
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup Greek yogurt or crème fraiche
- ½ cup ripe bananas, mashed (about 2 medium sized bananas)
- 2¾ cups bread flour
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ cup jumbo raisins
- Using your stand mixer if you have one (or a large bowl), whisk together the water, yeast, and just a pinch of granulated sugar. Let it sit for a few minutes until it starts to look frothy, then add in the rest of the granulated sugar, yogurt or crème fraiche, mashed bananas, bread flour, salt, and vanilla extract. Knead the dough with your dough hook until it starts to clean the sides of the bowl and looks elastic, about 2 minutes. At this point, add in the olive oil, then continue to knead until the dough looks smooth, or almost silky, but still elastic, about another 1-2 minutes or so.
- Gently form the dough into a loose ball, then place it back in the large bowl. Drizzle with a tiny bit of olive oil, just to lightly coat the dough, and tightly cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Place the bowl in a dry, warm place and allow the dough to rise until it has doubled - about an hour.
- Lightly grease a loaf pan with non-stick spray or a little butter and set aside. Lightly flour your work surface, then turn the dough out onto it and roll out into a 9x15 inch rectangle. You may need to knead the dough a bit at this point so that it will roll out, so go head and work with it until it has reached this point. It is easiest to do this by simply stretching the dough with both hands, then slapping it on your work surface, pulling it up, stretching, and slapping it down again. Do this for a few minutes until it is easier to work with, then roll out.
- Combine the brown sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle out onto your rectangle of dough, saving at least 2 inches of space at the very end so that you can roll it up. Sprinkle with the raisins, then roll the dough up as tightly and evenly as possible. Pinch the ends and place the dough gently into the loaf pan. Cover again with plastic wrap, then place in a dry, warm spot for another 45-60 minutes, until the dough has doubled in size again.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F when your dough is almost ready. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until golden and set. Allow to cool in the pan for 30 minutes, until turn the loaf out onto a cooling rack and allow to finish cooling completely before slicing. Enjoy toasted with a bit of butter or on its own!