Friday, April 5, 2013

School project and banana bread


We are back home from our Easter holiday, which was filled with snow, skiing, friends, laughter and more eggs (in all forms and shapes) than I care to discuss. There was also a fair share of homework to be dealt with between one ski lesson and the next, but now we just have one more project to complete for Monday and then we are done.  

We have been asked to make and write out a recipe and background story of our child's/family's favorite recipe, one we possibly normally make together. We then must proceed to take pictures and/or the children must draw the end result or the recipe step by step. All the recipes will be published in a book that will be sold to raise funds for our school. A great idea, we can all agree on that. And I am a food blogger, so easy peasy right?

Not exactly.

This is a random picture of a banana bread past that I made using chocolate chips.
My daughter's first suggestion was roast chicken, which we do all love, but handing in a paper that reads we-all-love-roast-chicken-because-roast-chicken-is-delicious-and-what-we-do-is-preheat-the-oven-season-the-chicken-and-stick-it-in-said-oven-for-xyz-minutes-and-then-take-it-out-and-devour-it seemed sort of pointless, given she does not ever help me roast the chicken in the first place. Plus, pretty much everbody has their own way to roast a chicken. I know I do.


Eyeing the brown and spotted bananas in our fruit bowl I counter-proposed banana bread. After all, it is a simple recipe, beloved by most kids, that I make quite often and that a child can easily help with. Also, I needed to get rid of those bananas. And some of that Easter chocolate lying around.

You may, if you knew us intimately, retort that my daughter doesn't help  me bake that either (her initial objection by the way). But to be honest, she is usually too busy drawing, coloring, cutting out or gluing something at the kitchen table while I cook, to help me with any of my cooking. Granted, she is a good eater, she thinks about food during her day more than most kids do and enjoys the finer pleasures of life like crisp chicken skin and briny olives but she never helps me in the kitchen for more than a handful of minutes. She is enthusiastic for about 60 seconds and then gets sidetracked by all the more fun things her immagination is willing her to do. She can wax lyrical about the pleasant contrast of warm cocoa and cold butter and jam on bread she has for breakfast or about caramelized onions or the smell of toasting spices and gnaw nibble on bones just like her mama, but we are not really a cooking team.

This banana bread was made with 1 cup wholewheat flour and 1/2 cup oat flour
Her second objection was that she didn't know what to call it in Italian. Ok kid, you have a point: pane alle banane does not sound particularly enticing. But the humble loaf makes a good background story about our heritage and how "us Americans" make it to use up those overripe bananas that families with kids seem to be plagued with. And it would certainly be unique in a book filled with roast chicken, tiramisù and various lasagna recipes. We might even start a fad. And hey, we can just call it... banana bread!

So banana bread it was. And the cool part is that half the work is already done: I just have to copy the recipe and pictures off of my blog!


...I do not have a recipe for banana bread on my blog.
Sure, I have written about wholewheat, oat and banana muffins, chocolate chip banana bread muffins and sour cream and olive oil banana muffins (enough with all these banana muffins already!) but there is not ONE. SINGLE. RECIPE. FOR. BANANA. BREAD. An American blogger without a recipe for banana bread... shame on me. And barely a picture I can recycle for my daughter's school project because all the banana concoctions I ever used for my blog are friggin' muffin shaped!

So here, at long last, is my recipe for banana bread, adapted from the Joy of Cooking.

1 1/2 cups flour or 180gr (I play around with different flours each time)
1 1/2 tsp or about 9gr baking powder
1/2 tsp or about 3 gr salt
2/3 cup  or about 120gr brown sugar 
6 tbsp or 85gr butter, softened
2 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups/2 or 3 mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup or about 75gr chopped nuts and/or chocolate chips, dried fruit

Make sure all your ingredients are at room temperature. Preheat your oven to 350°F/175°C. Grease an average sized (book suggests 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 inch) loaf pan.
Whisk together flour, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until creamy. In the meanwhile, mash the bananas (you can freeze your ripe bananas and defrost them before making this) and then beat and egg and then the bananas into the butter mixture.
Add your dry ingredients in three parts, beating until smooth after each addition.
Last, mix in the nuts and/or chocolate chips. You can also add in dried fruit or seeds or oatmeal.
Fill the pan with the batter and bake for about an hour (usually it takes a little less in my oven) or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool, unmold and let cool completely on a cookie rack.


  1. Mt son was the same way in the kitchen for many moons. He would go on and on about my cooking and tastes and smells, but never help. Now, at 23, he's in the kitchen and repeating things I made for him or asking me to walk him through things over the phone or when away on Skype. So it does sink in!

    And I have some brown spotted bananas in my fruit bowl now heading for banana bread!

  2. YUM to banana bread and YES to such a fabulous school project!

  3. Your daughter sounds like my daughter - would love to help but there's just so many other things to do instead. I'm always in my kitchen alone. Banana bread is a great way to use up browning bananas xx

  4. Hehe I can only imagine the look if you had handed in that roast chicken recipe! I had some overly ripe bananas and baked with them (of course, eat fruit on its own? :P )

  5. Banana bread is one of my favorite things - this recipe is a little different than mine - definitely going to try this.


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