Peanut Butter Banana Braid

Elegant but packing the homey, nostalgic flavor of peanut butter and banana, this braided bread is the perfect way to enjoy something classic in a gorgeous new package.

Peanut Butter Banana Braid
 
Makes 1 loaf
Ingredients
  • 3 cups (382 grams) bread flour, divided
  • 3 tablespoons (36 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2½ teaspoons (7.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • ½ cup (120 grams) whole milk
  • ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon (75 grams) water, divided
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature and divided
  • Peanut Butter Filling (recipe follows)
  • ½ cup (100 grams) chopped banana
  • Garnish: confectioners’ sugar
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 1½ cups (191 grams) flour, granulated sugar, salt, and yeast.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk, ¼ cup (60 grams) water, butter, and vanilla over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture, and beat at medium speed until combined. Beat in 1 egg (50 grams). With mixer on low speed, gradually add remaining 1½ cups (191 grams) flour, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until a soft, somewhat sticky dough forms, 6 to 7 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl and dough hook. (Dough will be elastic and pull away from sides of bowl but stick to bottom of bowl.) Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth round.
  4. Lightly oil a large bowl. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until almost doubled in size, 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Punch down dough, and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a lightly floured sheet of parchment paper. Roll into a 16×10-inch oval. Using a small knife or bench scraper, score (or mark) a 13×4-inch rectangle in center of dough, leaving a 1½-inch border on short sides and a 3-inch border on long sides. Spread Peanut Butter Filling in rectangle; sprinkle banana onto filling. Cut 1-inch-wide strips along each side of filling. At top and bottom, trim ends to width of filling, and fold over filling. Starting on left side, stretch, twist, and fold top strip over filling, ending just below opposite top strip. Repeat with top strip on right side. Continue pattern, alternating left and right, until you reach end of strips. Tuck and pinch last strip. (If dough is not sticking to itself, dab with a little water to help it seal.) Transfer dough, on parchment, to a baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together remaining 1 egg (50 grams) and remaining 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water. Brush top and sides of dough with egg wash.
  8. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in bread registers 190°F (88°C), 20 to 25 minutes. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Notes
BRAID YOUR BREAD:
1. Roll dough into a 16×10-inch oval. Using a small knife or bench scraper, score (or mark) a 13×4-inch rectangle in center of dough, leaving a 1½-inch border on short sides and a 3-inch border on long sides.
2. Spread Peanut Butter Filling in rectangle; sprinkle banana onto filling.
Cut 1-inch-wide strips along each side of filling. At top and bottom, trim ends to width of filling, and fold over filling.
3. Starting on left side, stretch, twist, and fold top strip over filling, ending just below opposite top strip. Repeat with top strip on right side.
4. Continue pattern, alternating left and right, until you reach end of strips.
Tuck and pinch last strip. (If dough is not sticking to itself, dab with a little water to help it seal.)

Peanut Butter Filling
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup (73 grams) firmly packed light brown sugar
  • ⅓ cup (85 grams) creamy peanut butter
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, beat butter and brown sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add peanut butter, and beat just until combined. Use immediately.

 

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