Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Pain au Levain avec Banane #BreadBakers

Pain of whatnow?

Relax, the fancy-schmancy French name I gave the hearty, crusty boule made for this month's #BreadBakers event simply means Banana Sourdough. There's only six ingredients - five if you don't count water - and there's no added sugar at all. All the sweetness comes from the namesake fruit, and in lieu of added butter or oil, a scoop of all natural cashew butter adds the "peanut butter and banana sandwich" nuance along with everlasting moisture.

Pain au Levain avec Banane et Blé Entier

Of course, sourdough anything, regardless of the sweetener or fat used, is usually far from being a mindless pursuit. There's a starter to maintain (sort of... mine pretty much lives in the fridge unless I decide to bake one morning), baking stones to heat in the oven, and hours upon hours to wait for each rise. I'm not denying these steps exist with this loaf, either. They do - from almost a full day, followed by an overnight, rise as well as multiple stretch-and-folds in place of a one-shot knead. However, all this fuss and time allows the relatively heavy dough to strengthen, rise and eventually shape nicely into it's final round.

Looking at it, of course, it's not impressive. In fact, the perfectly baked loaf is pedestrian at best, not large or beautifully embellished with washes, score marks or egg paint. It's something that would sit in the breadbox, untouched by passerby - and definitely nothing that would fly out of a boulangerie. The secret to this bread only reveals itself when it's cut into - and even without butter or any other Toast Topper I dare you to declare it's not delicious!

Pain au Levain avec Banane et Blé Entier

All our naturally sweetened breads:

BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

In brackets, I have included the baker's percentages so you can easily scale up or down as you need.

Pain au Levain avec Banane 
Adapted from The Fresh Loaf
Makes 1 loaf, 20 slices
350g 100% hydration, recently fed (preferably rye) sourdough starter    (100%)
350g whole wheat bread flour  (100%)
246g mashed banana  (70.18%)
55g smooth cashew butter (this is my current fave) (15.79%)
49g water  (14.04%)
11g salt (3.16%) - use less if your cashew butter is heavily salted
  1. Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook.
  2. Mix ingredients on low speed for 2 minutes, just to combine, then cover and let rest 20 minutes.
  3. Knead for 12 minutes on medium-low speed. 
  4. Cover and let rise 2 ½ hours, stretching and folding (30-40 times) every 50 minutes.
  5. Cover and let rise, undisturbed, for 2 hours.
  6. Place in the fridge overnight.
  7. Bring to room temperature, shape into a round loaf and let rise 4 hours on a sheet of parchment.
  8. Meanwhile, place a baking stone in the oven and heat to 410F.
  9. Transfer dough (on the parchment) to the stone and bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Reduce temperature to 375F, tent with foil and bake another 25 minutes.
  11. When fully baked, the loaf will be 190F internally.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 118.6
Total Fat: 1.8 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 1.6 mg
Total Carbs: 23.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.8 g
Protein: 3.7 g