Using the same dough recipe as the basil pesto poppy seed braided bread, I replaced the basil pesto with a chocolate hazelnut (Nutella) spread to make a sweet braided bread.
I can picture myself making more of this bread using different kinds of dried fruits, roasted nuts or fruit jams. Combinations such as brown sugar and apple with cinnamon and pecan, almonds with raspberry jam, lemon zest with blueberry jam or apricot jam. Just the thought of them...yum...
Chocolate Hazelnut Braided Bread
Make a 9" or 23cm round bread
240g organic bread flour
60g organic wholemeal flour
3/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tsp salt
198g full fat milk, at room temperature
15g butter, at room temperature
4 - 5 Tbsp chocolate hazelnut (Nutella) spread
Brushing onto the dough
1 egg, for egg wash
1 tsp melted butter
2 tsp pearl sugar (optional)
2 tsp pearl sugar (optional)
Steps to braided bread:
- Line a large baking tray with a sheet of parchment or baking paper.
- Into a mixer with dough hook attachment or in a bread machine, place flours, sugar, instant yeast, milk and salt and mix into a dough. Once the mixture comes together, mix in the butter. When the butter goes in, you may feel that the mixture looks like they are not going to come together, but don't worry, the machine do its magic. A smooth, uniform dough will be form after 10 - 15 minutes of kneading by the machine.
- Place the dough in a covered and lightly oiled bowl. Leave it to rise in a warm, draft free area until dough has double in volume.
- Once it has doubled in volume, remove the dough from the container and placed it on a work surface. The dough should now be very soft and elastic but not sticky. But if it is, use a very small amount of flour to dust the work surface.
- Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to a 30cm by 60cm rectangle. Spread chocolate hazelnut spread evenly onto the rolled out dough, making sure to leave a 2cm border of dough untouched by the spread.
- Roll the dough onto itself along the shorter end to form a log (just like rolling a Swiss roll). Once rolled up, pinch the end (along the breath of the dough) together.
- Seal the two ends of the log tightly by pressing down firmly on the two ends. Roll the log with both hands using a light outward motion along the log, to even out and stretch the dough a little.
- Place the dough in a '1' position and using a sharp, long knife, starting 2cm below the top of the dough, cut the dough right in the middle of the number '1', splitting the log into 2 long strips but still attached at the top. Turn the split surfaces to face upwards.
- To form the braid, take the piece on the right and place it above and across the piece on the left. The piece on the left, now becomes the piece on the right. Using the same steps, place the now piece on the right, above and across the piece on the left and repeat until you reach the end of the dough and pinch the dough together to complete the braid.
- Now bring the two ends of the braid and press them together and form a circular braid.
- Place the complete braid onto the baking tray lined with parchment paper, covered with an oiled cling wrap. Let the dough rise to double its size in a warm place, approximately 45 - 60 minutes.
- When the bread is about 90% double in size, preheat oven to 200 degrees C/400 degrees F. Brush the surface of the bread with an egg wash and sprinkle the pearl sugar evenly on the surface. Bake the bread for 20 - 25 minutes.
- Once out of the oven, brush the surface of the bread with butter. Let the bread cool on a cooling rack before removing it from the pan.
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