The earliest form of baked bread was made by Egyptian over 5,000 years ago, as the various symbol for breads are available to be seen on Egyptian hieroglyphs as evidence. Yet, it’s still uncertain whether the bread from old Egypt was already leavened or not. The invention of yeast as bread’s leavening agent itself was presumed as an accident. Popularly believed, back then, wild yeast were being contaminant in flour, until the bakers realized that their bread was leavened naturally and also made the loaf tastier.Yeast, which are fungi, are widely dispersed in nature and commonly found in fruits, especially grapes. It is also commonly believed by historian that the homemade bread was accidentally leavened as the result of making homemade beer- so the yeast spores are everywhere in the house.
For European and American who have been living with bread as their main intake for ages, bread supplying process is obviously a matter, that some of it worth as notable history. During World War I, the US Army even had their own recipe book to bake bread, which titled “Manual for Army Bakers”. It is also the white bread that became a helper for Allies during their malnutrition and starving period so they could win the World War II.
Nowadays bakery is easy to be found everywhere in Asia, including Indonesia as the impact of colonialism. The bread popularity trend is also steadily increasing, owing to the fact that Asians are able to creatively develop their bread so that now the modified yeast bread is becoming authentic food in some Asian regions, even though bread still cannot be considered as Asians main diet.
Talking about modified yeast bread, now we back to the Banana Oatmeal Yeast Bread. Three weeks ago, the banana tree in my grandfather house yard was harvested, resulting banana overstock. After had days full with banana, I got confusion on what should I do with the remaining banana that start to overripe. Then I opted to freeze them for further use on baking. Typically me, in cooking I always willing to make the healthier version, so I decide to use cooked oatmeal to substitute one cup of flour. For you who enjoy bread that is not too sweet, has crusty outside but moist and slightly chewy inside, this recipe is perfect for you. Anyway, here it is:
Banana Oatmeal Yeast Bread
Yield: 1 loaf (10 slices)
- 2 cup all purpose flour + extra 1/2 cup for kneading
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1 cup oatmeal
- 1 cup milk (I used low-fat)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 ripe banana, medium size, mashed
- 1 egg
- Vegetable oil, for coating
- Firstly, cook oatmeal with butter and milk until it forms paste. Set aside, let it cool.
- Combine all dry ingredients in one bowl until they reach homogeneous color.
- Mix in cooked oatmeal, mashed banana, and egg. stir until no dry ingredients remain.
- Dust your hand with flour. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, add the extra flour to reduce stickiness. After kneading, the dough is probably still sticky.
- Coat all over dough surface with vegetable oil so it won't stick to the bowl. Cover the bowl with clean damp cloth. Let it rise until doubled, about 45 - 60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the pan loaf. Line the pan with greased and dusted baking sheet. The uncover sides of pan should be greased and dusted also.
- After the dough rise, knead again for 2 minutes. Transfer dough into prepared loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap, and let it fermented for an hour more or overnight in the fridge. I want to have it for breakfast, so I put it in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap.
- In the morning, let the dough sit in room temperature for 15 minutes. Preheat oven in 200 deg Celcius.
- Brush the dough top with melted butter, bake for 35-40 minutes.
- Let the bread cool evenly before removed and peeled.