Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sweet plantain bread

I had three ripe plantains which needed using up, so I came up with this bread. I must have had sweet plantain before, but our Kerela trip memorably introduced me to the vegetable again. We were staying at a homestay run by a Syrian Christian family at Kottayam. Twice at least breakfast was mashed/baked sweet plantain. I have been using ripe yellow plantains since then in many ways. Try the milkshake with sweet plantain for example. Awfully easy! Rich, creamy and healthy. Or as a filling which I will share soon.

This time I used it in a multi-grain bread. Stunning with Pesto, Muhammara or plain old Mint Chutney. This is a bread starting from a sponge, with two phases of raising the dough so it does take some time.

3 ripe plantains
1/2 cup rye flour
2 cups white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh yeast
1 Tablespoon jaggery
1 and half cup water
White Oil to grease
1 Tablespoon of pumpkin seeds (optional)

Bake the ripe plantains at 180 degrees centigrade for 20 minutes. For the sponge, in a separate bowl add the rye flour, 1 cup white flour, half teaspoon salt, yeast and the jaggery. Mix the dry ingredients thoroughly and then add 3/4 cup water for making a thick batter. Cover and keep in a warm place overnight. The plantains should be baked by now. Cool them and then scrape the golden yellow flesh of the ripe plantains. Store in the refrigerator until next day.

Next day, stir the sponge batter. In a clean bowl add the whole wheat and 1 cup white flour with salt. Pour the sponge batter and mix it. Add some water to make it a shaggy dough. About 5 minutes kneading should do. Cover and let it rise for 30 minutes. In the meantime bring the sweet plantain to room temperature. Make it into a mash. Add the mash to the dough. Work it in thoroughly. Knead for another 5 minutes. The dough is likely to be sticky. Oil a loaf pan and transfer the shaggy mass to it. Smooth over the top. Poke the pumpkin seeds in if using. Cover and let rise for another 30-45 minutes. In the meantime preheat the oven to 200 degrees centigrade. Bake for about 40 minutes on the lowest rack. If necessary, cover the top with a foil for the last 15 minutes to prevent it browning too quickly. Let cool and unmould.

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