Like most humans, I love chocolate – and something I love even more than plain ol’ chocolate is nutella. I mean it’s like chocolate but better, right?! I love finding any excuse to buy some and cook with it and honestly, this bread is the best vehicle for it. It’s sweet – but not too sweet – and really satisfying.
If you’re looking for a sweet treat that’s warm and comforting but not too indulgent, look no further! This nutella bread is what dreams are made of – specially when it’s fresh and warm right out of the oven! It’s not the kind of treat that is sickly sweet or feels so heavy that you only feel you can have a bit – it’s the more dangerous kind that tricks you into believing you can have more and more and more!!
I like to use the same dough from my cinnamon rolls because “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” right? It’s a wonderfully enriched dough that is not too sweet but it’s really flavourful and fluffy and delicious and when paired with ooey gooey nutella… it’s a match made in food heaven!
Of course, if you don’t like (who doesn’t though?!) or can’t have nutella you can substitute it for a different chocolate spread or a different spread altogether! Also you can customise it as much as you like by adding nuts or little pretzels or even – god forbid – raisins.
So if you want to learn how to make this beautiful and impressive – yet crazy easy to make – braided bread, keep on reading! Let me show you how.
- 1 pack dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cup warm milk
- Make sure it’s warm but not hot – a good way to tell is if when you put a finger in there it doesn’t burn but also doesn’t feel cold. Should feel like “blood temperature”. For me it takes about 30-45 sec in the microwave.
- 1tbsp sugar
- 110g butter – you’ll need it melted and cooled down slightly
- 5 cups plain flour (may need a bit extra for rolling etc)
- 1 cup strong bread flour
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp salt
- Vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste)
- 350g of nutella (or spread of your choice)
- Optional: Any fillings of your choice – nuts, pretzels, raisins, dried strawberries…
*** NOTE: These measurements will give you two generous-sized breads so you can either cut the recipe in half, make two braids or use one half of the dough for something else (like perhaps my glorious cinnamon rolls?). If not you can also wrap up half of your dough tightly and freeze it so you can use it at some other point. It’s an easy-going dough!
How to make it:
- First of all, we need to activate the yeast. In order to do this, mix your melted butter with a tbsp of sugar and the warmed milk and sprinkle the pack of dry yeast over the top. Let it sit for about 5 min in a warm, draft-free spot – until it starts to get foamy and smells like a bakery.
- In a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) add all the other ingredients for your dough
- Once the yeast mixture has foamed up, add it to the rest of your ingredients and mix them all together until a dough starts to form.
- Sometimes you may need to add a bit more flour if it’s sticking to the sides, just let it all combine and give it some time to see if it comes together but if it looks really wet, just add a bit more flour – 1tbsp or so at a time
- Place your beautiful dough baby in an oiled bowl (oil the sides and bottom of the bowl, roll the dough around to coat with the oil and cover the bowl with plastic wrap) and pop it in a warm spot that’s away from any drafts. I tend to use my oven (with the oven turned off).
- Let it rise for about 1.5 – 2 hours, until it’s grown significantly (usually doubles in size).
- Once the dough is ready, gently deflate it and plop it onto a floured surface
- Cut your dough in half so you work with one half at a time. Wrap the dough that you’re not using with some plastic wrap in the meantime so it doesn’t develop a skin.
- Roll one half of your dough on your floured surface to form a rectangle and try to make it relatively even. You want the dough to be about half a cm thick.
- Spread half of the nutella all over the dough – make sure to get as close to the edges as you possibly can!
- Again, because this recipe makes 2 braids, I use the whole 350g jar for both so I just divide it between the two. If you’re only making one you may want to get a smaller jar (or maybe not!).
- If your nutella is a bit too stiff I’d recommend putting it in the microwave for about 30-45 sec so it warms up a bit and loosens up. It definitely makes a big difference when spreading it!
- If you wanted to add any crunchy stuff to your rolls this is the time to do so! Just scatter them all over your nutella-covered rectangle.
- Roll your dough lengthwise, to make a long sausage. Keep it seam-side down.
- Cut your nutella sausage in half lengthwise but leave a little bit still together on one end. These will be your two braid strands.
- To make the “magic braid” just put one strand over the other one, then the other strand over the first one and keep going until you reach the end – don’t worry if you get nutella everywhere, this is a messy job!
- Once you get to the end pinch both sides together to make sure that your braid is “closed” at the top and the bottom.
- Plop your beautifully braided bread onto a parchment paper-lined baking tray, cover it with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and leave it somewhere warm again to rise one more time. This usually takes about another hour or so.
- While your bread is resting, turn on your oven to 180C
- Optional: you can warm up some heavy cream in the microwave and brush it over your bread before baking. It’s not necessary but I’d definitely recommend it!
- Once your bread is nice and plump and ready to be baked, put it in the oven for 20-25 min until it looks beautifully golden and smells unbelievable!
- When it comes out of the oven let it cool down just slightly – about 5-10 min should be enough. Then slice it however you like, devour and leave no crumbs behind!
This recipe is a total winner in our household – you know it’s a good one when the hubby keeps asking for it! It’s actually super easy to make but looks really impressive and apart from letting the dough rise it doesn’t take very long either. It’s always a crowd-pleaser and honestly you should definitely make both braids because they won’t last long! They are deceptively easy to eat and before you know it it’ll be gone.
If you’re having some friends over or you’re celebrating mother’s day / father’s day (or any other day!) or if you’re just having a bit of a sweet tooth and want to treat yourself – I really hope you give this recipe a try and let me know how you get on with it! I’d love to know your thoughts on it – if you liked it or not, if you struggled or if it was smooth sailing!
As always, thank you for stopping by and supporting me and I’ll see you again soon with another yummy recipe!