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April 2013 - Art in the Kitchen

Archive for April, 2013

PostHeaderIcon Banana Loaf Bread

One of my favorite things to both make and eat is banana bread; but the name is misleading, as banana bread is more like a cake than it is a bread – it’s called a quick bread, but I think it is neither cake nor bread, it’s something in between.

Anyway, Ryan, my 10 month old son loves bread and I’ve been searching for recipes for loafs, since he doesn’t chew crust very well. I found that a lot of whole wheat loaf breads are made with milk and butter, ingredients I’m trying to avoid giving Ryan.

Whilst looking through a beloved recipe book, “The Bread Bible” by Rose Levy Beranbaum, I found a very intriguing recipe for banana bread, but real bread this time! An actual loaf of bread with banana! I have not yet been disappointed with recipes from this book, but they do take all day to make; though little effort, rising time can sometimes be up to 6 hours.

Well, I made the recipe and I was not disappointed. My home smelled wonderful, and the loaf tasted delicious!! I was so curious to taste it that I couldn’t wait an hour to slice it; 15 minutes out of the oven and I had to have to a taste! Next step is to give some to Ryan and see what he thinks about it!!

The original recipe calls for dry milk powder, but since is the culprit of an allergic reaction, I omitted it.

Banana Feather Loaf

Dough Starter:

  • 80 g (½ cup plus 1 tablespoon) all purpose flour
  • 103 g (½ cup) water, at room temperature
  • 20 g (1 tablespoon) honey
  • .8 g (1/4 teaspoon) dry yeast
  • Make the sponge:
    Combine all ingredients and whisk until very smooth and airy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl and cover with plastic wrap.

    Flour Mixture and Dough:

  • 207 g (1 ½ cups) all purpose flour
  • 2.4 g (3/4 teaspoon) dry yeast
  • 20 g (2 tablespoons) dry milk powder
  • 18.5 g (4 teaspoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed
  • 6.6 g (1 teaspoon) salt
  • Whisk together the flour, yeast and milk powder. Sprinkle over the sponge mix and cover. Allow it to ferment for 1 to 4 hours at room temperature.

    Add butter and banana to the dough and mix just until it forms a rough dough. Cover and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.

    Sprinkle on the salt and knead the dough for 7-10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise until doubled, between 1½ and 2 hours.

    Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and press down to form into a rectangle. Fold the dough into an envelope shape, twice, and then set it back in the oiled bowl. Let rise for another hour or 2, until doubled.

    Preheat the oven to 250 ° C (475°F) 1 hour before baking.

    Shape the dough into a log and place it in an oiled bread pan. Cover loosely with oiled plastic and let rise for about 1 ½ hours.

    Place the bread pan in the oven. Bake for 5 minutes, then turn the oven down to 190°C (375°F) and bake for 15 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 175°C (350°F) and bake another 10 minutes.

    Remove the bread from the oven and set it on a wire rack. Remove the bread from the pan and leave it to cool on a wire rack for 1 hour.

    It is an all day ordeal, but with very little effort and a lot of flavor!

    PostHeaderIcon Our Easter Meal – Chicken Lasagna

    We are not exactly religious people, so Easter is one of those holidays that we don’t necessarily celebrate. Of course, now that we have a baby, we are going to start celebrating it, but not in a religious sense; we’re looking forward to hiding eggs and sending our son on an egg hunt!

    In Sweden Easter in celebrated on the eve; the Easter meal is on Saturday evening. I was shocked at this, since the holiday is actually  Easter Sunday, but my (very Swedish) husband explained to me that in the old days, people used to go to church on Sunday and pretty much spend all day there, so they celebrated the holiday at home the day before (much like Christmas).

    I know we live in Sweden and so we should follow suit, but I really dislike celebrating Easter Sunday on Saturday! So we decided to celebrate it on Sunday instead, especially since we don’t go to church. With that said, we had a guest over Saturday night, so this year we ended up having celebrating it on the eve anyway!!!

    In Brazil the traditional Easter meal consists of a very typical cod dish: bacalhau. I’m not fond of cod, and I’ve never really enjoyed this dish. In Sweden the traditional Easter meal is Lamb, which I don’t eat! My father, however, always serves lasagna (2 different kinds: a meat and a veggie one) for our Easter meals, so I decided to keep up his tradition and made a chicken lasagna.


    It’s a recipe I’ve had for a while and have only made a couple of times before. I change some ingredients every time I make it though, either because I don’t have something at home or because I think something else will taste better, but this time I used white whine in the sauce (I’ve previously used chicken broth and apple cider vinegar) and I think that it is probably the best choice of ingredient!

    For dessert I made a very popular Brazilian dessert: pavê. I’m not sure if there’s an English equivalent is for the name, but it’s pretty much a layered dessert, with a layer of cookies such as maria cookies, a layer of white cream, made with condensed milk, and a layer of chocolate or other flavor of choice (can be fruit too, berries work well).

    I made a chocolate and coconut “pavê”, and though it was very sweet, it was also delicious! I followed a recipe from Chef TV’s website, click here to view the recipe.


    Needless to say, there’s not much of it left! I ate it with some fresh raspberries and found it heavenly, but Robert (my husband) thought it was just fine on its own, and our guest enjoyed it with vanilla ice-cream.

    I will post the recipes individually later!