Banana Soft Sourdough Bread

by - February 16, 2020

Banana Soft Sourdough Bread

Banana Soft Sourdough Bread

Banana Soft Sourdough Bread

The pictures taken were on the next morning as the bread was baked at the evening.

I’ve always wanted to make Banana Bread with a texture like bread rather than cake.  However, I have not been able to find a recipe that I was happy with.  We happened to have some ripe banana and I used them as an experiment.  I am happy that the experiment turned out well and I got a bread rather than a cake! This recipe is highly recommended as the bread is soft like cotton.

Characteristic of bread:  The texture is soft, fluffy and moist on the first day.  However, it lost a little softness and moisture on the second day.  Subsequently,  become quite dry on the 4 or 5 days.   It is best to eat on the same day or toast it after second day.  There is a very slight mild sourness.  The banana aroma is not very strong.

I have another Banana Loaf recipe that using instant yeast that you may like to try too.

It is advisable to read the General Notes before baking.


For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.  Usually bread flour content around 11.5 - 13.5% protein, while high gluten flour is around 13.5 - 14.5%.  All purpose flour content less protein around 9 - 11%.  To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  Sources from here and here.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. Proofing Test:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake.
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof your dough until it just reaches or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.  It is advisable to feed your starter daily if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  

If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.

I used more levain (sourdough starter) in my soft bread recipe to get less sourness taste. This sounds weird right? More starter will make the dough rise faster and less time needed for the dough to digest and produce acids. The acids give the sourness taste. In resulting less acids produce and bread become less sour.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Banana Soft Sourdough Bread 

Yields:  1 loaf


Levain - 260g total (ratio 1:1:1):
90g sourdough starter (100% Hydration)
90g (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
90g water

Main Dough:
350g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
260g levain (above)
20g brown sugar
20g honey
1 1/4 tsp salt
35g butter, room temperature
35g full cream milk
160g mashed banana

600g loaf pan (12" X 3.5" X 4"  or  31cm X 9cm X 10cm)

  1. Levain:
    1. Mix all ingredients in a jar and cover.
    2. Let it ferment at room temperature (approximately 30C) until tripled.  It took about 3-5 hours depend how strong is your starter.
    3. Note: If you like to prepare levain the night before, please use the ratio 1:3:3.  Let it ferment in aircond room until tripled.  It took about 10 - 12 hours. 
  2. Main Dough:
    1. Put all ingredients (except butter) including the 260g sourdough starter (levain) into the bowl of stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead for 3 - 5 minutes until the dough comes together.  Add in butter and continue kneading for another 10 - 12 minutes and reach window pane stage.
    2. Let the dough rest for 60 minutes in the same bowl, covered with cling film or the lid. The dough did not rise a lot.
    3. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 3 equal portions. Form each portion to a ball.  Flatten with rolling pin into a dish.  Fold right to centre and fold left overlap it.  Roll out with rolling pin into long rectangle shape. Roll up the dough like Swiss Roll until a small log is formed. 
    4. Place all dough in the prepared loaf pan.  Let it proof at warm and dark place until the dough reaches the pan's rim.  It will take several hours depend on how strong is your sourdough starter and room temperature.  This one took about 6 hours at room temperature of 28 - 30 C.  To speed up the rising process, place the dough in the oven and a bowl of hot water next to it and close the oven door.
    5. Fifteen minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 190 (top and bottom heat) or 170C (fan-forced).
    6. Bake at preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
    7. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack completely before slicing.
Banana Soft Sourdough Bread

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  1. Hi yeanley, I just tried this banana soft sourdough bread. It is very fragrant, soft and chewy! One of my best sourdough bakes! Thank you for sharing this amazing soft sourdough recepi. I will be trying all of it!

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for trying this recipe and your kind feedback. It is glad to hear that you like it.

      Happy baking...

      Cheers :)

  2. hi, when you said 100% hydration, what does that mean? I am new to this starter so i have them in my fridge now. I want to make this bread. Do i scoop up 90g sourdough starter, mix with the water and flour and leave over night? Then I can use it? Do i need to measure again the starter to make the banana bread?

    1. Hi, Thank you for asking.

      100% hydration starter means it's 1 part of flour and 1 part of water.
      Yes, feed 90g of starter with 90g flour and 90g water. After fermentation and rise to tripled, measure out 260g of levain to use.

      Cheers :)

  3. Thank you ! I will try making. You have a lovely blog and well written.

    1. Thank you for your comment and compliment.. Happy baking :)

  4. I've tried the recipe! it turn out well!! thanks so much!

    1. Hi, thanks for trying this recipe and your kind feedback. Happy to hear this:)

  5. Hi! Thanks for the recipe.Mine did not turn out as soft as yoo photo.Baked at 170C with fan for 30 mins.Should I reduce the baking time? Thanks.

    1. Hi, thank you for trying this recipe. May I know what type of flour that you used? In order to achieve this fluffy and soft texture, it is highly recommended to use Japanese High Gluten flour. And also window pane stage is important too. Not enough gluten development, the bread will not rise tall and fluffy.

      The baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

      If you find your bread is too brown or over baked, please reduce the timing.

      Cheers :)

  6. I am very puzzled. I prepared 2 portion the banana soft sourdough bread in my BM, one after another using the same starter. One portion I added 50gm wholemeal fine flour with 300gm BF and 1 tsp poppy seed. This one didn't rise as much ( in fact very little after 5hrs) while the other loaf rises satisfactory. What could have gone wrong???

    1. Hi Grace,

      Thanks for trying this recipe. Hmm, it is very strange. Wholemeal and poppy seed should work as well. I am not too sure, dear. Starter is very hard to predict sometimes :(

      Sorry, dear..

  7. Hi! I am quite new to sourdough. Just wondering why are some levain 1:1:1 ratio and some are 1:3:3 ratio? As all the ingredients are of 100% hydration, it sounds the same but not really same too. Appreciate your kind response!

    1. Hi Angie,

      Thanks for reading this post and your questions.

      100% hydration sourdough starter means using 1 part water and 1 part flour. It means 100% of the flour is hydrated.

      I feed 1:1:1 or 1:3:3 ratio is because of timing. If you going to leave for starter proof for longer period of time then you need to feed higher ratio so that the yeast will not run out of food.

      I hope I have answered all your quesitons.

      Cheers :)