Thursday, November 4, 2010

Sweet Banana Rolls

So, I've been thinking... people change, things change, lives change.
People I knew had plans back in the day, but whose plans really worked out?
And if it didn't work out as they planned, are people happy with the way things did turn out?
There are many friends from college I haven't spoken to in many years (I will admit I'm not the best at keeping up with people). In fact, I keep up with an extremely meager number of people.

But suddenly, you somehow get a glimpse at people you were friends with, you see how they and their opinions have changed. One has become Buddhist, another probably spent quite a bit of time in ashrams in India and is now philosphically and spiritually a Hindu.
What? You changed your names too, kids?!

And what about the one who bought a one-way ticket to Argentina after graduation? I don't know, but I would like to.

Then there was the one who planned to be an important politician and always talked about a senator from Iowa. Seriously, about 75% of his conversations revolved around Chuck Grassley. I don't really know much about the man (in all honesty I don't really care, and maybe I wasn't really listening), but I would laugh to myself whenever I'd hear something about Sen. Grassley on the news after that. I'm almost certain he's not really as funny as I happen to find him.

The one who wanted to be a professional wrestler? No, not Olympic-standard, sorry (and I wasn't all that close with this one, but he's an example). We're talking WWF (sadly).

Those who were going to be teachers and doctors... noble professions, yes, but compared to these others...? Sort of dull by comparison.
It would be nice to have the chance to sit down with someone over a cup of coffee and say, "What happened?!"
Sometimes things are sad, sometimes surprising, sometimes good.
I wonder what they would make of me...
Am I stunted in their eyes, the same, or have I changed too?

There's really no such thing as normal.
I guess people all have different ideals, different goals, different views on what "perfection" might be for them. People were trying to "find" themselves, and they came to different very conclusions when they seemed much more similar in a Midwestern college ten years ago.

But how far off track would one be for a career in professional wrestling to constitute "found"?
Not saying I agree with everything, but if nothing else, it is interesting

It's best not to plan too rigorously.

What does any of this have to do with bread?
Nothing at all.
Just writing what was on my mind.

I was just thinking, "Ahhhh! I need to post something!"
What a responsible blogger, right? An imperfect blogger, and I can't say blogging was something I would have ever imagined I'd do, I think I used to be more responsible!
As an aside, I don't think blogging was going on when I was in college. Things change! Cell phones were't really prevalent when I was a freshman, but when I was a senior, all the freshman on campus would be glued to their phones while hiking from one class to another.
It seemed strange (and kind of rude) to me.
I sort of feel like a cranky senior citizen having just said that.

As far as my blogging goes, sometimes things just don't flow too well. I had things stored up for a while, I used the stash, they're gone, now what?
Start over (duh).
I have my list of things to do, but they don't always happen, OR I happen to forget my camera so I cannot photograph what I'm doing. That's ok, I guess... more time to perfect things.

This particular recipe originally came from a friend from Hong Kong.
It's a lovely banana bread, but not what you might expect. The bread is slightly sweet, and has a mild banana flavor. It's not cakey, but it's a yeast bread, and excellent for breakfast shaped into rolls and taken with a cafe au lait and a newspaper or book.

It's VERY good.
I don't know where it originally came from (sorry, whoever you are!), but I have made some minor changes.
I prefer it as a roll instead of a loaf, but the recipe will yield two loaves (shaped and baked on a sheet pan) if you like it that way.

Sweet Banana Bread
2 loaves or 12 large rolls

5 1/2 to 6 c flour
2 packages of active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 t)
3/4 c milk
1/2 c butter
1/2 c sugar
1 t salt
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs, one separated

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine 2 c flour and the yeast. In a saucepan, heat milk, sugar, butter, and salt over low heat, stirring constantly, until butter is just melted. Turn mixer on low, and slowly add milk mixture to flour. Add banana, one egg, and one egg yolk. Continue beating on low about 30 seconds, then beat on high about 3 minutes. Stir in enough flour by hand to make a moderately stiff dough. Turn out on floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic (5-8 minutes).
Place the dough in greased bowl, turn once, and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rise until double, about 1 hour. Punch down and let rest 10 minutes.
Divide dough into 12 pieces, roll and shape each into a round and place on a greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until double, about 4o minutes. Whisk the leftover egg white with 1 t water and brush each roll with the egg mixture.
Bake the rolls in a 400 degree F oven 15-20 minutes, until dark golden.


  1. Oooooooh!
    Just happened on this--must be a brand new post?
    Can you tell us a bit about the dough pictures---I'm not a baker (YET).
    You do a lot of baking recipes don't you? Is that your favorite?

  2. The first picture is supposed to show that the dough is very wet- more like a batter than a dough- before you stir in the rest of the flour by hand. The second is a photo of the dough after the flour is all stirred in and prior to being kneaded. The third is the smooth, springy, fully kneaded dough. Then the dough is shaped into rolls, they rise, and they're baked.
    I do a lot of baking recipes, yes. I like to bake, but I like to cook too.
    I don't know if I have a favorite! It's difficult to choose.

  3. /Thanks,
    from Ooooooh