Braided nutella bread

Braided nutella bread

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! 

Nutella bread

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.

 

 

Ingredients:

Cinnamon rolls
  • 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
Cinnamon rolls
  • 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)

Nutella bread

  • 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:

The dough:

  • 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.
Cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon rolls
  • In a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer) add all the other ingredients for your dough
Cinnamon rolls
  • 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

Cinnamon rolls

  • Once it’s looking like dough, knead it for a couple more minutes – until it no longer sticks to your fingers and it looks smooth. It should still feel tacky but it shouldn’t stick.
Cinnamon rolls
Your bowl should look relatively clean and your dough should be a bit tacky but not sticky
  • 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).
Cinnamon rolls
  • Let it rise for about 1.5 – 2 hours, until it’s grown significantly (usually doubles in size).

 

The braid:

  • Once the dough is ready, gently deflate it and plop it onto a floured surface
Cinnamon rolls
Cinnamon rolls
  • 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.

Nutella bread

  • 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.

Nutella bread

  • Roll your dough lengthwise, to make a long sausage. Keep it seam-side down.

Nutella bread Nutella bread

  • Cut your nutella sausage in half lengthwise but leave a little bit still together on one end. These will be your two braid strands.

Nutella bread

  • 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!

Nutella bread Nutella bread

  • Once you get to the end pinch both sides together to make sure that your braid is “closed” at the top and the bottom.
    Nutella bread
  • 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.

Nutella bread

 

The baking:

  • 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!

    Nutella bread

  • 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!Nutella bread
Nutella bread
Look at those ripples of gooey nutella! You know it’s going to be good.
  • 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!

Nutella bread Nutella bread

 

 

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. 

 

Nutella bread

 

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! 

Nutella bread

Arroz con leche (rice pudding)

Arroz con leche (rice pudding)

As you probably know, I grew up in Spain and if there is one thing that everyone can agree on is that Spanish people know how to eat! We’ve got the best food, freshest ingredients and I mean, to me there’s nothing like it. Spanish cuisine isn’t super elaborate and I actually really like that – they just use super good-quality ingredients and let them shine through.

This is one of those irreplaceable nostalgic comfort-food recipes that doesn’t look pretty, it’s not fancy at all but it just can’t be beat. It’s sweet, it’s cinnamony, it’s creamy and delicious and you can have it either warm or cold but either way it always hits the spot. Even though rice pudding is made in lots of different cuisines, the recipes can vary significantly. This is how I’ve grown up eating it, its a family favorite and I hope you love it as much as I do.

 

Arroz con leche

 

 

Ingredients:

Arroz con leche

  • 1L of milk – ideally whole milk
  • 100g of rice – short-grain works best here, something like arborio, risotto or bomba rice
  • Orange peel (1/4 to 1/2 orange)
  • Lemon peel (1/2 – 1 lemon)
  • 1 or 2 cinnamon sticks
  • A vanilla pod – cut it in half lengthwise and use both the pod and the seeds inside (you can also use extract or vanilla bean paste)
  • 70g sugar or a small can of condensed milk (370g)

Arroz con leche

  • Optional: knob of butter (about 10g)
  • Powdered cinnamon for dusting

 

How to make it:

  • In a large pot, combine your milk, rice, citrus peels, cinnamon stick and vanilla

Arroz con lecheArroz con leche

  • Turn the stove on a very low heat and bring it up to a gentle bubble (do not boil!). Simmer it slowly for about 30-45 min, stirring every few minutes – if you don’t stir it frequently it’ll form a skin over the top really quickly

Arroz con leche

  • After this time your mixture should be starting to thicken up and look creamy but your rice probably won’t be cooked all the way through yet. It’ll still be a bit runny which is exactly what we want

Arroz con leche

  • At this point add the sugar and keep simmering it for another 5-10min, until your pudding is thick and creamy and your rice is fully cooked through

Arroz con lecheArroz con leche

  • Turn the heat off and carefully remove your citrus peels, cinnamon sticks and vanilla pod. Make sure to mix through while you’re doing this so that it doesn’t form a skin.
    • Optional: add your knob of butter once you’ve removed all your flavorings and mix through

Arroz con leche

Arroz con leche

  • Cover your pot and let it rest for about 10-15min, then serve or put it in the fridge to cool down (see below).

 

Top tips:

  • If you want to eat it warm you can serve it at this point, just sprinkle some cinnamon on top and enjoy! (I love it with tons of cinnamon)
  • If you prefer to eat it cold, transfer your warm mixture to an airtight container, sprinkle with cinnamon and make sure that no air is getting in there (again, trying to prevent a skin from forming!). Pop it in the fridge to cool down and let it sit there for a few hours, then serve!
  • If you want to make it even creamier and more decadent, try substituting the sugar for a small can of condensed milk and thank me later! This is how my grandma prefers her arroz con leche. Just keep in mind that you’re adding liquid so you may need to cook it down a bit longer than with just sugar.
  • If you want to make this the day before (I used to do that in medschool) just keep in mind that the rice will keep absorbing the liquid for a while after it’s off the heat. If you don’t like it too dry you can either reduce your cooking time a bit so it’s looser, or you can just add a bit of extra milk when you go eat it. Just mix it through really well and it should incorporate easily.

 

Arroz con leche

 

Let me tell you, there are few desserts that warm my heart as much as this one. This is probably where my love for cinnamon comes from actually – I just cannot get enough of it! When I was young my parents had to take it away from me because if not I’d eat it all and I wouldn’t leave any for the rest of the family. Just couldn’t get enough! Like I said, it’s super simple and doesn’t require lots of ingredients or effort so it’s really a great treat to have on hand.

Even if you’ve had rice pudding before I’m sure it won’t be quite like this one. When my mom and grandma made it at home I think they only put a tiny amount of lemon peel in there and as far as I remember there was no vanilla so this is not quite exactly like the one I used to have but in my opinion it’s even better! It may be a touch too sweet so if you try it and feel like it’s too much, just cut down on the amount of sugar a bit and it should do the trick.

I hope you give this recipe a try and love it as much as I do – it tastes like my childhood! Also let me know if you like simple traditional Spanish recipes like this one and if you’d like me to share more? I’d love to know what you like to see over here! Thanks for reading me and I hope to see you again soon!

 

Arroz con leche
If your bowl doesn’t end up looking like this then something’s gone wrong – I’d suggest you try again!!

My favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe

My favourite chocolate chip cookie recipe

Let’s get something out in the open – chocolate chip cookies are my absolute FAVOURITE sweet treat ever!!! Honestly, I could eat them every day. For breakfast, as a snack, as an after-dinner treat… I just could never say no to a chocolate chip cookie.

When I started baking I really struggled to get cookies right! They were always too crispy or too dry or too sweet or a million other things! Then as I started to learn a bit more about baking and about what makes cookies be a certain way (I mean – a gooey chocolate chip cookie isn’t the same texture as a Christmas sugar cookie or a peanut butter cookie and so on) and by trial and error (and lots of deep internet digging!) I think I’ve now found my favourite cookie recipe. It’s all about the ratios.

For me personally, chocolate chip cookies are best (always good but even more so!) warm out of the oven – when the chocolate is still a bit melty and the whole house smells like heaven – and they should be slightly crispy and browned on the edges but the middle should definitely be soft and gooey.

 

Chocolate chip cookie

I love to make a double or triple batch of these every once in a while and put them in the freezer so I always have perfect chocolate chip cookies on hand – in case of a cookie emergency! Full disclosure though: the texture isn’t just quite the same when they’re cooked from frozen. They’re still absolutely delicious but the texture is just a bit different.

 

 

Get stuff ready:

  • Make sure your butter and eggs are at room temperature
  • Preheat your oven at 180C

 

Dry ingredients:

Chocolate chip cookies

  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda (in the UK they call it bicarbonate of soda)
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon (or a pinch)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 250g of chocolate chips – you can also chop up a bar of regular chocolate you like to eat, I personally like 70% cocoa solids

 

Wet ingredients:

Chocolate chip cookies

  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 115g butter (soft, at room temperature)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (approx, I never actually measure this)

 

Method:

  • Mix all the dry ingredients together until they’re uniform in color

Chocolate chip cookies

  • Mix your soft butter and both kinds of sugar for a few minutes (about 3-4 min), until they’re well combined and starting to look pale in color and a bit fluffy. You can use a stand mixer on medium-high, an electric mixer or a wooden spoon! Whatever you’ve got

Chocolate chip cookies Chocolate chip cookies

  • Scrape down the sides of your bowl to make sure everything is getting evenly incorporated
  • Add in the egg and vanilla extract and mix together for a couple more minutes. It’s okay if it starts to look curdled – this happens sometimes and gets “fixed” once we add the dry ingredients

Chocolate chip cookies Chocolate chip cookies

  • Scrape down your bowl again!
  • Combine your wet and dry ingredients gently, mixing ONLY until they’re just about combined

Chocolate chip cookies Chocolate chip cookies

  • Fold in the chocolate chips and again, stop as soon as you no longer see chunks of flour

Chocolate chip cookies Chocolate chip cookies

  • Place them on a baking tray lined with parchment paper – I like to use a medium-sized ice cream scoop to do this – and leave some space in between them as they tend to spread a little (a couple of inches should be fine).

Chocolate chip cookies Chocolate chip cookies

  • Bake at 180C for 9-10 minutes, until they look nice and browned around the edges but the middle looks gooey and the house smells like a bakery!

Chocolate chip cookies Chocolate chip cookies

 

Top tips:

  • Don’t worry if your cookies look slightly undercooked when you pull them out, they keep “baking” once they’re out of the oven and they set up a bit more while they cool down. As long as your edges are brown they should be good but if you’re not sure just try them out and if you’re not happy you can just pop them back in for another minute or two. You can always bake them more but you can’t un-bake them!
  • If you let your cookie dough rest for a bit before baking it it gets even yummier! I think that it gives the flavours a bit of time to get to know each other better and the cookies come out even better. I like to make the dough and cover it with some cling film, I tidy up the kitchen, then preheat the oven and cook them, usually giving them about an hour or 2 of resting time.
  • The best way I found to freeze cookies is to scoop them out onto a baking tray as if you were going to bake them (I just pack the baking tray a lot more), put the whole tray in the freezer for a few hours until the cookies harden (1-2h minimum) and then put the dough balls into a resealable plastic bag. They should last a few months in there (if you can resist eating them!).
  • To cook them from frozen – take them out of the freezer and plop them onto your baking tray lined with parchment paper and in the meantime preheat your oven to 180C. Once the oven’s temperature is up, put the cookies in for about 10-11min and same rules apply – they should be nicely browned around the edges and gooey in the middle. Plus the smell, obviously!!

 

Chocolate chip cookies Chocolate chip cookies

And that’s it! Yummy chocolate chip cookies – you’re welcome!! Please enjoy these delicious gooey chocolatey heavenly cookies and share your experience! I’d love to know if you like them, if you changed anything, if you had any issues… sharing is caring! Have an awesome day and thanks for reading me! 🙂

Chocolate chip cookies Chocolate chip cookies