I've made this bread a LOT recently! It makes the most impressive centerpiece and it will certainly impress your family and friends. The bread is light and airy and the Nutella is rich and creamy, the perfect gift or treat for your loved ones.
If like me you love to give homemade gifts, then this is a real show stopper for any chocolate lover, I think that anyone would love to see this tasty treat coming through the door this Christmas.
This recipe was adapted from Munaty Cooking, Nutella Braided Bread.
180ml Warm water (hand hot is sufficient)
1 tsp Dry yeast (I use Doves Farm Original Dry Yeast)
1 tbsp Sugar
2 tbsp Oil
315g Plain flour
1 tbsp Sugar
½ tsp Salt
1 tbsp Zest of an orange
Filling and Glaze:
1 tbsp Milk
Place the warm water into a small glass jug, stir in the yeast and sugar. Leave the yeast mixture in a warm place (basically out of a draughty window) for 10-15 minutes until the yeast begins to foam. Stir in the oil and set aside.
Place the remaining dry ingredients into a large mixing bowl (I have a stand mixer for this job). Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture. Mix on a medium speed in a stand mixer and the dough hook attachment for 4-5 minutes. Add a little more warm water if the dough is dry.
If mixing by hand, combine the ingredients - knead for 8-10 minutes on a lightly floured surface. The dough should be smooth and elastic. It should spring back completely if pressed gently with a floured finger.
Place the kneaded dough into a small greased bowl, cover with clingfilm and allow to rise for 90 minutes or until doubled in size. I usually make this dough in the evening and allow it to rise overnight in the fridge, letting it come to room temperature for about 20 minutes before shaping it.
Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface into a 30x40cm rectangle. Flour your surface again before spreading the Nutella as the pastry can stick to your work surface making it difficult to roll.
Using a pallet knife carefully spread the Nutella evenly over the pastry leaving a 1cm border around the edge.
Roll the pastry away from you starting at the longest side of the rectangle. This is a messy job so any spoils are for the chef ;)
Once the pastry is rolled tightly -use a sharp knife to cut the roll down the centre starting 2cm from the top - you should now have two strands of layered pastry joined at the top.
It is misleading to say that you are actually plaiting the bread you are really just laying each strand over the other creating the illusion that your are plaiting. So here's how you do it,carefully place your bread onto a large piece of baking parchment. Then starting at the top, work from left to right, lay each piece over the other.
You will begin to see the pattern emerging - for the prettiest look keep the layers facing upwards.
Once you have "plaited" the entire length, pinch the end to secure your work. Lay the baking parchment onto the baking tray. Then gently shape the length into a circle and secure the two ends together. Be sure the ends are secure, you don't want it to come apart while baking. If it isn't secure, wet each end slightly with water and press together for a tight seal. Cover the bread with a large piece of oiled clingfilm and allow to rise for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/ Gas Mark 4
Brush the bread with milk and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Keep an eye on the bread as it brown very quickly. The bread is baked once it is risen and golden brown.