Banana Whole Wheat Yeast Bread

Whole Wheat Banana Yeast Bread--a great way to use up aging bananas--mix and knead the dough in a bread machine
Aging bananas on your kitchen counter?  Avoid the same old banana quick bread routine and break out your bread machine for this slightly sweet treat. Try it toasted or use it a day or two old to make your own melba toast

I almost never “bake” in my machine but I use it whenever possible to mix, knead, and proof (let it rise) the dough. Works beautifully for this recipe.  If you don’t have a bread machine, you can also use a stand mixer to mix and knead.

Paula’s Recipe Notes

  • If your bananas are not very soft, you may  need to add some extra water.  Peek at the dough after the bread machine has been running a few minutes to determine if more is needed.  If you aren’t sure what the dough should look like, check out these pictures.
  • Substitute 1/4 cup sugar for honey if desired.
  • Pecans, raisins and dates are my favorites but don’t let that stop you from being creative with different dried fruits and nuts.


Whole Wheat Banana Yeast Bread mixed and kneaded in a bread machine

Divide dough into three equal portions

How to braid whole wheat banana bread mixed and kneaded in a bread machine

Roll each portion into a long cylinder and braid, pinching the cylinders together and turning under each end

last bananabreadpic

P.S. Best eaten within 24 hours.  Wrap individual slices and freeze for future enjoyment.

Banana Whole Wheat Yeast Bread
Recipe type: Bread (bread machine)
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut up
  • 1 small ripe banana, mashed (or approx ½ cup)
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1¾ to 2¼ cup bread flour (can substitute all purpose unbleached; if using bleached may need to add a little more)
  • 2¼ teaspoons bread machine or instant yeast
  • ½ c. toasted pecans or almonds
  • ⅓ c. raisins
  • ¼ c. chopped dates
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom (this is the secret ingredient–won’t be the same without it
  1. Combine everything but last three ingredients in bread machine pan in order given unless your bread machine gives specific directions otherwise concerning liquids and dry ingredients. Set on dough cycle. When machine signals it's time for "add-in", add nuts and dried fruit.
  2. At the end of the cycle if dough has risen to double its size, remove dough from pan. If not double, leave dough in the machine until it has doubled. Remove to lightly floured surface and form into a ball. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Divide into 3 equal portions and form in to 3 cylinders each about 12 inches long. Braid as shown in the picture tucking the ends under. Transfer to cookie sheet covered with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Let rise for about 45 minutes covered with soft tea towel.
  4. (If the idea of braiding intimidates you, divide dough into three balls and place side by side in a loaf pan.)
  5. Brush milk lightly over raised loaf. Combine sugar with cardamom and sprinkle on top of braid. Bake at 375 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until done. May need to be covered with foil after about 15 minutes in oven as the loaf gets brown before it gets done in the middle. If you have a quick read digital thermometer which I recommend if you intend to make very much bread, the temperature should be close to 190°F

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

MadTyMom August 8, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I made this bread today and it is wonderful. I chased my kids (college age- and home for the summer) off telling them that it was for supper. Then I couldn’t resist and cut into it myself. Luckily they ran out to the store so there is no one here to see the scene of the crime. I did put a very, very light glaze over the top. Great recipe!!! Now I have to figure out how to disguise the fact that I ate some already.


carolyn August 4, 2011 at 6:32 am

I will try it today .Do you know the calories and nutrition .?


Paula August 4, 2011 at 9:43 pm

Calories are listed at the end of the post.


Jeanette February 3, 2011 at 11:38 pm

I made this and we really loved it….and the recipe was easy to use too. I made it the traditional way, instead of using a bread maker.

I am going to make variations of this recipe. I am thinking I could use applesauce instead of bananas, and then use finely diced apples, cranberries, and nuts…..

Or pureed pumpkin instead of the bananas, and then use raisins, dates or figs, and nuts, and maybe cinnamon instead of cardamom.

Thx for a great recipe.


Gina February 5, 2010 at 8:48 am

I made this last night – it was really good! I didn’t put in the dates or the nuts, and didn’t have cardamom, but we still enjoyed it.


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