Banana BunsPosted: October 5, 2014
Here’s something that’s fun AND tastes great – always a winning combination in my book – Banana Buns!
A sweet bun dough wrapped around a filling of mashed banana – and shaped/decorated to look like a well-ripened banana!
To avoid having a filling that was too soggy, I mixed mashed banana with lemon juice (to prevent discolouration) and sugar (to counter the sharpness of the lemon juice) and then simmered it until most of the moisture has evaporated. As always, feel free to customise to your own tastes – use honey or palm sugar as the sweetener and omit the lemon juice altogether if you like. Substitute your own favourite sweet dough, or even glam it up by using brioche, it’s all delicious!
I’m including a ‘fast and dirty’ method for making the custard decoration, since such a relatively small amount is required. You could, of course, make your own creme patissière, if you don’t mind having quite a lot left over. Make it a little thicker than usual, so that it holds its shape when piped.
Makes 6-8 buns, depending on size
For the dough
250g strong white bread flour
1 sachet fast acting easy blend yeast
25g caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
juice of 1 lemon
20g custard powder
1tbs granulated sugar
1 egg to glaze
- Put the flour, yeast, sugar, butter, salt and egg into a food processor and blitz until well mixed. The mixture will resemble fine breadcrumbs.
- Tip the mixture into a bowl and make a well in the middle. If you have a stand mixer and a dough hook, then use that.
- Warm the milk.
- Add in the water and the vanilla to cool it to blood temperature. To test: stick your finger in it – if you can’t feel it, then it’s at the correct temperature.
- Add the liquid to the dry mix and bring together into a dough. NB It will be rather moist and soft, so if you’re kneading by hand, use a scraper on the surface to help you lift the dough as you knead it.
- Knead the dough for 10 minutes, then set aside, covered, until doubled in size (about 45 minutes-1 hour).
- For the filling
- Put all of the ingredients in a small pan and mash together.
- Simmer over a medium heat until all the liquid has evaporated. You will see the clouds of steam get less and less and eventually, no visible liquid on the bottom of the pan.
- Set aside to cool.
- For the decoration.
- Mix all of the ingredients in a microwave-proof bowl.
- Cover and cook on high for 90 seconds.
- Remove and stir thoroughly.
- Re-cover and cook on high for another 90 seconds.
- Stir, cover with cling film to prevent a skin forming, and set aside to cool.
- When the dough has risen, tip out and pat down.
- Divide the dough into 6 or 8. Larger pieces of dough are easier to shape, but they do swell up to make extremely large buns once baked. You decide.
- For each piece of dough:
- Roll out to the size and shape of a pita bread.
- Dampen the edges with a pastry brush dipped in water.
- Place 1-2tsp banana filling at one end and fold over. Press the dough together firmly to seal in the filling.
- Roll up the filling in the dough like a sausage roll. Make sure the seal is underneath the roll and pinch the ends together.
- Gently curve the roll into a banana shape and set onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Set the buns to rise for 20-30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 170°C, 150°C Fan.
- Put the custard into a piping bag fitted with a small (5mm) plain nozzle.
- When the buns have risen, pipe 3 or 4 ‘stripes’ of custard along the length of each bun and use the beaten egg to glaze between the stripes. This may seem awkward, but glazing the buns first makes their surface very slippery, and the custard tends to slide off.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until risen and golden brown.
- Remove baking sheet from the oven and immediately cover the cooked buns with a clean cloth. This will keep the steam in and make the crust soft as they cool.