After being on the east coast for a week last month we formed an "east coast time" sleep schedule, resulting in uncharacteristic early wake-ups by choice. One of the mornings we went down to Pike Place Market as it was slowly opening and roamed around the lower leveled shops because it was much warmer down there. Starting off with the always visited comic book shop, growing continuously more jealous of their collection of Star Wars helmets. We then went into one of the used book stores, I looked through their small collection of cookbooks hoping to find something other than books about low-fat cooking and dieting. I ended up buying 2 small paperbacks for a little over $5, one was used for this bread. The other, a book focused on traditional Jamaican cuisine. I have 2 plantains ripening right now, soon to be fried. I looked through countless banana bread recipes online, 2nd guessing and constantly changing my mind. I then had that moment, the one where you realize you have been hoarding a stash of new cookbooks that you always forget to use. Immediately grabbed the Betty Crocker cookbook, circa 1969, remembering it was filled with every traditional American comfort food recipe.
I made this bread a few days ago and the photos have been burning a digital hole in my pocket. I've recently been studying for a Windows 8 certification I have to pass for work. To date it's the most technical thing I've had to learn, which is exciting, but all my energy has been put towards making sure I conquer it. I've officially studied more than I can handle and am ready to talk about food again. I take the test tomorrow, fingers crossed.
Adapted from the Betty Crocker cookbook photographed above.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
3 ripe medium bananas mashed (1 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup Nutella, plus extra for spreading
Chopped hazelnuts for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray bottom of loaf pan (I used 8 1/2x4 1/2x2 1/2 pan) with baking spray. Mix softened butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until fully combined and fluffy, then mix in eggs. Add mashed bananas and water, beat until all ingredients are combined, about a minute. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Pour half of the banana mixture into a medium bowl. Put Nutella into medium bowl, mix until combined. Pour Nutella mixture into pan first, then pour in the other half of the banana mixture on top of it. Using a knife, start at the edge and move your wrist back and forth to make the letter 'S' in the mixture to create the swirl look. Be careful not to over-mix the batter. Bake bread in oven for 55 minutes - 1 hour, a toothpick will come out clean when it is ready. Allow bread to fully cool then spread a thin layer of Nutella on the top of the loaf, then sprinkle chopped hazelnuts on top. Slice bread for serving.
*You can harden the Nutella quickly by placing the loaf in the freezer for a few minutes, doing this is optional.
My world recently.