Braided Nutella Bread

I saw a picture of this while researching about babka, a sweet and spongy, brioche-like yeast cake with layers of filling made mainly in Central and Eastern Europe. This braided bread works by the same principles but rather then creating a loaf you simply cut and twist sections to make a pretty star shape, perfect to tear and share out at a party or for dessert.Makes one 25 cm/10 inch bread.

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Braided Nutella Bread

Ingredients

  • 450 g all-purpose flour
  • 70 g sugar
  • 35 g live yeast or 2 teaspoons dry yeast
  • 180 ml milk
  • 30 g butter,
  • 2 egg yolks, save the whites for brushing
  • 1 cup (240 ml) Nutella

Method

In a large mixing bowl combine the flour and sugar to use later on.

Next heat the milk in a saucepan until it’s warm but not boiling and take off the heat, add the butter to melt gently and leave aside. Once the mixture is about body temperature (~35C) add the yeast and let it dissolve.

Add the yeast mixture and the egg yolks to the flour, and mix until its combined. The dough seems very dry at this point but persevere. Turn the dough out onto a clean surface and knead by hand fir around 10 minutes, creating a soft, elastic dough. Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for a couple of hours to rise to around double the size.

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Take the dough from the bowl and press to deflate. Divide the dough in 4 pieces, form them into balls and roll each ball into 10 inch/25 cm discs. Place one dish on a parchment lined baking sheet, and use a plate to outline where to put the Nutella.

Spread a thin layer of Nutella on the dough. Put another disc on top, and repeat outlining and spreading Nutella. Add third dough disc and repeat with the Nutella. Put the last dough disc on top. Place the plate on top, and cut of any excess dough round the plate with a sharp knife. Remove the plate.

Place  a small cup in the middle of the dough, to mark the center. Cut the dough at 3, 6 9 and 12 o’clock and cut each quarter into 4 pieces, so you end up with 16 slices connected to the center circle.

Take 2 neighboring slices and twist them two times away from each other, connect the two in the end, and pinch them together forming a point. Do this with all the slices, and now you have a star flower formed bread.

Preheat oven to 170°C/350°F. Brush surface of the bread with the leftover egg whites and bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned. Tear and share with friends, still warm from the oven. If serving later I like to heat it up again to remelt the chocolate and soften the dough.

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