The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Rose Levy-Beranbaum's Banana Feather Bread

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

Rose Levy-Beranbaum's Banana Feather Bread


I think I posted about how wonderful this bread was, but never posted its picture. 


I'm not the greatest photographer in the world, but this bread sure was beautiful!  I made it into a freeform feather shape, inspired by MC's post about this bread on Farine. 


And OMG this bread is good!  The best I've ever baked. 

OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

it must be fantastic.  Congratulations!  Very nice job on the scoring, and the bake is beautiful.  I've still got RLB's book out from the library, and you're killing me here with this.  I'm just going to have to make this before I let the book go back.  In fact, I think I'm going to have to buy the book because I love her recipes.


This is a great picture, so don't knock your photography too much.  Is it just the bread, making you look good?  I wouldn't be too sure.


OldWoodenSpoon

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

This bread is awesome, you have GOT to try it.  Don't forget the lemon curd!


I am getting pretty good in the scoring department--most of the time.  (But now that I've bragged, I'm due for a disaster.)  I have a "gen-you-wine" lame from SFBI.


Thanks for the compliments--I'm blushing.

RichardB's picture
RichardB

Yes, Congrats!  Nice looking loaf and I bet it tasted great!  :)

saraugie's picture
saraugie

Just checked the Bread Bible to make sure the formula is there and tis.


Its next up for me to make.

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

The recipe has this elaborate scheme of oven temps starting very hot and then gradually bringing the tem down.  RLB's theory is that you need a good, firm crust to support the soft crumb, but I have not found that to be true. 


I came close to burning the bread above--there's a lot of natural sugar in the banana so it carmelizes quickly.  Fortunately I was watching it closely.  And when I make this bread in the loaf form called for in the recipe, I just bake it at 350 for a bit longer than the recipe calls for.  The crumb structure is fine--very soft and light but it doesn't fall apart.  My kids are using it for sandwich bread. 


So beware the oven temps, use your judgment. 

saraugie's picture
saraugie

Hi, I have my dough fermenting.  I want to do free form also.  Did you place directly on a baking stone or ???  Its going to be ready in 4 hours so I hope you will see and answer before then.

thanks, steve

saraugie's picture
saraugie

Here is my attempt.  I did listen and steamed at 410 for 5 minutes and then turned down to 350 for about 22 minutes.  Did the thump test, stuck a instant read in, 190 on the head.


About the taste.  I did the sponge, let it sit for only 15 minutes and then put the flower mixture on.  Realizing that is not what I wanted to do, I decided that I would try to coax as much flavor as I could, so I left it for 24 hours on my kitchen to to ferment.  Rose says to let the sponge sit for only an hour, then if you'd like, to put in fridge for 8-24 hours.  My kitchen was cool, it sat in the SS mixer bowl, so fingers crossed.


Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

I know this is too late. I did bake the free form loaf directly on the stone. Instead of steam I bake "en cloche"--that is I cover the bread for the first half of baking--in this case I use the bottom of an enamel turkey roaster.

So how did yours come out???

Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

My so-called "smart phone" can only handle so many graphics, but your bread is beautiful!!!  That's some great oven spring! 


I hope it tastes as good as it looks.  Don't forget the lemon curd!

saraugie's picture
saraugie

The bread came out a little tangy as I thought it would :)  It has a nice mild aftertaste and for sandwich type bread no complaints.  It was a lot of monitoring and I am really a Pumpernickel, raisins and Rye kind of guy, so I do not think I will make it again.  I did write to the Gal who inspired you to go free form with yours and she answered before I shaped.


BTW, your bread looks very professional.  I hope one day to be able to have my bread presented so beautifully.  I've been baking bread for about 3 months and love doing it.


Do you bake from the Bread Bible often?  What is the bread from it you like the best ?  This is the second one I've made, the first being the ciabatta, and although I think it came out technically almost perfect, it was very bland tasting.



Janknitz's picture
Janknitz

For someone baking only 3 months you are doing a great job.  I'm a rank amatuer as well, but I have a few years on you. 


I like RLB's book very much and bake from it often.  My favorite is the banana feather bread.  Most of the time I bake it in a loaf pan at 350, I don't do all the steaming and temperature fussing she recommends but it still makes a great sandwich bread for my kids.  I snatch the overripe bananas and freeze them so I have plenty on hand. 


The Levy's Rye Bread is very good (according to my husband--I won't eat it because of the caraway seeds). 


I like the Heart of Wheat bread as well.  The potato bread was pretty good, but not something I feel compelled to make all the time.  And her challah is good, but she's posted an even better one on her website that uses firm starter as a pate ferment.  I made one this weekend and took a lot of photos so I plan to blog about it soon. 


I haven't tried the ciabatta yet, but it's on my list.  Did you retard that dough at all?  That can make a huge difference in flavor.  I don't have the recipe in front of me and I don't recall if it's appropriate to retard ciabatta dough or not. 

saraugie's picture
saraugie


The banana feather keeps getting tastier by the hour...LOL  I think I may have formed my opinion too soon.


I made P.R.'s challah, his newest formula from artisan bread everyday and it was out of this world good.  My MIL, chinese/hawaiian had three pieces and has never tasted a piece before :)  My wife and kids keep asking for more.



For the ciabatta yes, I retarted the dough as per her instructions.  At lest I think I did, remember I am just starting. IIRC I followed what was written to a T.