Wednesday, 4 September 2013

chocolate banana bread

Before I arrived in Thailand I was often thinking about what food I might miss from home with cheese, proper fish and chips and good quality baked goods always pretty high on my list. What I wasn’t prepared for was the abundance of excellent and delicious baked cakes, breads and pastries that seem to be available everywhere. This sweet, enriched bread recipe is inspired by Thai flavours and ingredients and happens to be almost entirely vegan if you used a vegan chocolate. It is essentially an enriched dough with the egg replaced by banana and the coconut oil and milk replacing dairy butter and milk. This chocolate banana bread makes a delicious treat breakfast or is good with a cup of tea of coffee any time of day.

2 medium bananas (approx. 1 cups mashed banana)
200ml coconut milk
55ml coconut oil
380g/3 cups bread flour
2 tsp fast action yeast
200g dark chocolate cut into rough chunks
generous pinch of salt
50g palm sugar (or brown sugar)

  1. Mash together the bananas and stir in the coconut oil then place into a large mixing bowl along with all the other ingredients apart from the chocolate and bring together into a rough dough. 
  2. Turn out onto an oiled surface and kneed for a few minutes then place into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap then leave in a warm place to rise for around 2 hours. You may need to adjust the flour or moisture level at this stage but do this with care adding a spoon of flour or water as needed. 
  3. After the first rise add in the chocolate chunks and gently fold the dough over them creating before turning out on to a baking tray lined with parchment or a loaf tin. I quite like the free form style with this bread but feel free to shape as you wish. Sometimes I mix the chocolate chunks through the dough making sure it is evenly spread or, as I have done in this version I have kept most of the chocolate contained in the centre of the dough so you have yummy almost solid chocolate centre to bite into. I was going for the kind of bite you get with a good pain au chocolat. 
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for another hour or so until it has risen to almost double the original size. 
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 230C then place a roasting pan filled with some water in the bottom of the oven to create some steam during the baking process. 
  6. Place the bread in the oven, reduce the heat down to 200C and bake for about 30-40 minutes or until you have a golden crust. 

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