Regardless of that, the bread. This bread. Banana Almond Date Yeast Bread. Yes, I know it’s a long name, but all of those components are SO IMPORTANT! And they make this bread the most delicious bread in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD. I didn’t even add in the other vital aspects of the bread, such as the fact that it is whole wheat and cinnamony and incredible.
What exactly would a bread such as this taste like, you ask?
Okay, imagine this. You come home to the smell of freshly baked yeast bread (sandwich bread or italian bread or sourdough bread, for those of you who don’t know the difference between quick bread and yeast bread), you break off a piece, take a bite, and all your culinary dreams come true. It’s a science. Now imagine fresh banana bread, sweet, rich, moist, and oh-so-happy on your tongue. Now, put those two imaginings TOGETHER and you’ve got this delightful hybrid bread, the best of both worlds.
It’s not too sweet and the banana flavor is subtle. However, that wonderful thing about homemade banana bread still resonates in this healthier alternative. The “fresh baked bread” superiority still applies. The dates give it an extra pop of decadence and the almonds provide a slight crunch.
If you are frightened away by the braiding, fear not. It’s not necessary. But it was oh-so-fun. And watch this magnificent progression
BAM! Golden brown. Mmmm, that was fun. Again!
Banana Almond Date Yeast Bread
1/3 cup warm water
1 large egg
1 tbsp agave nectar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large banana, mashed
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup flax
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tbsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 tsp yeast
1/4 cup chopped and pitted dates
1/4 cup chopped roasted almonds
1/2 tbsp milk
1/2 tbsp agave
1. Place all ingredients except last two in bread machine according to manufacturers specifications. Set for the dough cycle. When the dough cycle stops kneading temporarily for add-ins, add the dates and almonds.
2. When dough cycle is complete and bread has risen to at least twice its size, take out of machine and form into a ball on a lightly floured surface. Let rest for ten minutes.
3. Form into three balls, and shape them into long cylinders, about 6 inches. Braid together and tuck ends under. Cover with saran wrap and let rise on parchment lined baking sheet for 45 additional minutes. Mix together glaze, and when the bread has risen sufficiently, spread the glaze thinly over top (do not soak).
4. Bake at 375F for 30-35 minutes. If top begins to get too brown, cover with aluminum foil.