The nooks and crannies filled with Nutella and banana in these single-serving pull-apart breads invite exploration. Like a child who can’t resist the temptation to pull open and thumb through barely open drawers, your eyes begin spelunking at the first sight of the pull-apart bread. Your fingers quickly follow suit, prying the plush bread open and releasing steam studded with smells of chocolate, hazelnut, banana, and brown-sugar sweetened bread. Pull-apart bread is fluffy dinner rolls combined with croissants with a tactile satisfaction akin to cleanly splitting take-out Chinese food chopsticks. Add in the no-fail combination of Nutella and banana and these may be my favorite recipe of 2013.
Nutella Banana Pull-Apart Bread Recipe
I based my Nutella banana pull-apart bread recipe off the recipe for Buttermilk Fantails which I found on Tracey’s Culinary Adventures (originally from Gourmet, February 2009). I adapted the recipe to make it significantly sweeter (so it’s more desserty than a bread roll) and I also added the all-important Nutella and banana.
Nutella Banana Pull-Apart Bread
- 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water 105-115 F
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour plus a little extra for dusting the work surface
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread my favorite is made by Justin's Nut Butter
- 1 over-ripe banana cut into tiny pieces
- In a medium-sized bowl, stir together yeast, water, and brown sugar and let stand for five minutes. It should get foamy, but don't worry too much if it doesn't. You aren't looking for giant foam, just a few bubbles.
- Mix in flour, salt, buttermilk, and butter. Stir until the dough starts to come together.
- Lightly flour a clean surface (so the dough won't stick to it) and dump the dough ball onto that surface. Knead it until the dough is smooth and elastic - about six minutes. The dough is really easy to work with - you shouldn't have too many problems with it sticking.
- Coat the mixing bowl with oil, put your dough ball into it, cover, and set in a warm place to rise until doubled in size (about two hours).
- Once the dough has risen, punch the dough down and split it in half.
- Roll half of the dough into a 1/16" thick rectangle and cut into six even-ish strips. (You'll see from my photo below that I don't get caught up with perfection.)
- Spread Nutella on top of the first strip. Then, top with banana pieces.
- Top with second strip and repeat step 7.
- Continue layering strips and banana slices until you reach the top strip. Do not coat the top of the last strip in Nutella or bananas.
- Cut the layered dough into 6 sections of equal length.
- Turn each section onto its side and place into a depression in a greased cupcake tin. It will not come to the top of the tin. Don't worry; there's still lots of rising to be done.
- Repeat steps 6-11 with the second half of the dough.
- Set the cupcake tin in a warm place and let the dough rise for another hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the bread just begins to brown.
- Serve warm.