Banana Cinnamon Rolls
This is another version of popular on our blog recipe for Cinnamon Rolls.
We are using ripe bananas which bring natural sweetness to the dough. This way you can decrease refined sugar content. We are adding a hint of nutmeg which blends in nicely with banana flavour. Adding natural yogurt brings out the flavour but also keeps the texture soft and airy. Overall it's quite surprising how these turned out as we were expecting slightly dense roll with significant banana flavour. In contrary - the rolls are fluffy and you get very subtle banana flavour.
This will be definitely our new way to use up ripe bananas and to naturally reduce sugar content in the dough.
For these rolls you will be proofing the yeast in slightly different way to other versions of cinnamon rolls. First you will mash bananas, then whisk the mixture with milk, yogurt, nutmeg and sugar. The mixture then needs to be warmed up to 38C and stirred until sugar dissolves. Then you will be adding yeast and a sprinkle of flour before moving the mixture to the warm place.
The yeast will foam up. Melted butter, once lukewarm, will be mixed in with an egg. All these ingredients will be then mixed in with flour and salt. Kneading then takes some 8-10 minutes. If you knead by hand remember to turn the bowl few times so that you aerate the dough from every side. If you use stand mixer you will knead for 8 minutes (dough program, or speed 4 then 2 out of 10). In all our recipes we split flour and add small amount during kneading (after some 5 minutes of kneading you will be adding remaining 1/3 cup flour). This just gives you opportunity to observe how the flour you use behaves while kneading (and how much gluten it contains). You may see that you don’t need to use full 1/3 cup depending on the brand of flour you are using.
How do you know the dough is ready? It becomes elastic, starts pulling away from your hand (may be a little bit sticky but should pull away easily) and once pressed it will leave a mark which then bounces back. Dough is then ready for 1st rest - sprinkle with 1 teaspoon flour, cover with cling film or dry kitchen towel and move to a warm place. After 30 minutes punch and knead for few seconds and leave to rest for another 15 minutes. The dough will just about double in size. Second picture below is showing the dough before the 1st rest and the third picture shows the dough after the rest. Don’t expect spectacular rise but don’t worry the rolls will be fluffy.
Shape - have a look at pictures. Roll out the dough into rectangle shape (or anything close to it ;), spread soft butter, sprinkle cinnamon and sugar, roll into a log shape and cut into 12 rolls.
For good bake here the second rise is really important. If you live in windy Ireland like us you will know that 'move rolls to a warm place' sometimes does not cut it. You may use the same trick as we do for the second rise: switch on the oven (175C) for 2 minutes, then switch it off, vent for few seconds and place rolls in the warm (not hot), closed oven, covered tightly with cling film or dry kitchen towel (for 20 minutes). This will be a difference between dense and super fluffy buns. You can see on the last picture (vs the one before) - after second rise rolls are plump.
You can decide to keep rolls overnight and bake in the morning if you want to have fresh rolls first thing in the morning. Once you shape the rolls, spread butter generously allover the baking tray, cover tightly with cling film or dry kitchen towel and place the tray in the cool place. In the morning place rolls in warm oven for 2nd rest (20 min), then take out and preheat the oven, apply egg wash and bake.
Yield: 12 rolls
Active time: 1hr 45minutes (mostly rest time)
Tin: 20x30cm baking tin or 2x skillet or round forms
Banana Yogurt Dough:
- 3 and 1/3 cups* (500g) all-purpose flour + 1/3 cup (50g) for kneading
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup (120g) natural yogurt
- 1/2 cup (125ml) milk
- 2 ripe bananas
- 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
- 4 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 pack (7g) active dry yeast (or 25g bulk active drive yeast)
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 100g unsalted butter, melted
- 100g unsalted butter, soft and spreadable
- 1/2 cup (100g) white granulated sugar
- 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon Dutch Cocoa (optional, this will give darker colour to your cinnamon filling)
- 1 egg mixed with 1 Tablespoon milk
*cup = 250ml cup
1. Prepare banana yogurt mixture: Mash bananas (or mix in food processor) and whisk with milk, yogurt, nutmeg and sugar until combined and smooth mixture is achieved.
2. Proof the yeast: Warm up banana yogurt mixture (from Step 1) to 38C, add active dry yeast, stir the mixture, sprinkle on top 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour, cover with cling film or dry kitchen towel and set aside for 15 minutes into a warm place. After that time you should see the mixture bubbling/foaming up. If you don’t, you will need to repeat the step.
3. Prepare butter & egg mixture: Melt butter, cool until lukewarm and whisk in 1 egg (the mixture should be lukewarm when added to the rest of ingredients in Step 4).
4. Prepare the dough: In your main bowl mix flour with salt, add yeast mixture (from Step 2) and butter/egg mixture (from Step 3). Knead for 10 minutes by hand (or 8 minutes if using stand mixer with dough hook). If you are kneading by hand rotate bowl every so often so that you aerate the dough from every side. After 5 minutes of kneading add 1/3 cup (50g) of flour and continue kneading until the dough becomes elastic and pulls away from your hand. Sprinkle the top of the dough with 1 teaspoon of flour, cover with cling film or dry kitchen towel and let it rest for 30 minutes in warm place. The dough should double in size (it won’t be a spectacular rise - it will just about double in size - that’s OK, the rolls still will be fluffy). After that time knead again for 1 minute, cover the bowl and let the dough rest for another 15 minutes.
5. Shape rolls: Transfer the dough onto lightly floured work surface and roll out into 1cm thick rectangle. Spread soft butter all over it and sprinkle with cinnamon mixture. Roll the dough into log shape and cut into 12 rolls.
6. Second Rise: You have 2 options here. You may opt to bake immediately or leave the rolls overnight. Grease the baking tin or dutch oven/skillet with soft butter, place rolls and cover with cling film.
a) If you opt to bake on the same day transfer the baking tin into warm place for 20 minutes before baking. In that time preheat the oven. Brush rolls with egg wash just before baking.
b) If you opt to bake in the morning transfer the baking tin to the cool place overnight (remember to cover tightly with cling film or dry kitchen towel). If leaving overnight, in the morning place rolls in the warm place (best is to switch on the oven at 175C for 2 minutes, then switch it off, vent and place covered rolls in the warm and closed oven for 20 minutes). Brush rolls with egg wash just before baking. Preheat the oven.
7. Bake at 180C for 20-22 minutes until rolls are golden. Once baked let the rolls cool for 30 minutes before serving.