If you are looking for a rich dessert bread that can serve double-duty as a showstopper centerpiece, I recommend this Nutella Brioche Flower.
I have the honor once again of being the host kitchen for the Bread Baking Babes. I chose this bread because it is enriched, and I thought it would be a nice change of pace from the usual Holiday loaves.
This flower bread has been floating around the web for awhile, and I had been meaning to try it. I was just waiting for the perfect opportunity. Most of the versions I reviewed use the same recipe. It’s called brioche, but the ratio of butter and eggs is more consistent with cinnamon rolls than brioche.
Although I really enjoy cinnamon rolls; I wanted a dough that was more like brioche, but could still be shaped into a gorgeous flower.
To achieve this, I incorporated Peter Reinhart’s method of using a sponge with some of the flour, yeast and milk. I also used more eggs and butter than the original recipe called for. This version isn’t a full-blown brioche either; it’s more like a cross between Poor Man’s Brioche and cinnamon rolls.
It may look daunting, but it’s not. It looks fabulous even when you mess it up (note the extra cut in the center of the flower where I cut it a little too far). The bread flower can be made in an afternoon and the shaping really isn’t that hard.
To watch the shaping in action, refer to this helpful video http://www.thebreadkitchen.com/recipes/nutella-brioche-flower/.
Nutella Brioche Flower
Makes: 1 large Nutella Brioche Flower
- Nutella Brioche Flower by thebreadkitchen.com and
- Poor Man’s Brioche from The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
For the sponge:
- 1/2 cup (2.25 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) whole milk, lukewarm (90-100 degrees F.)
For the dough:
- 3 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 3 cups (13.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
- 1-2 teaspoons milk, if necessary to form a smooth dough
For the filling and glaze:
- Nutella or similar hazelnut chocolate paste for the filling
- 1 tablespoon milk plus 1 tablespoon water for glaze
- Icing (confectioner's) sugar
To make the sponge, stir together the flour and yeast in a large bowl (or the bowl of your stand mixer). Pour in the milk and whisk the ingredients together until all of the flour is hydrated. Cover with plastic wrap and let it ferment for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the sponge rises and falls when you tap the bowl.
To make the dough, add the eggs to the sponge and whisk (or beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment) until smooth. In a separate bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Add this mixture to the sponge and eggs and stir (or continue mixing with the paddle on low speed for about 2 minutes) until all of the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes to begin to develop the gluten. Then mix in the melted butter by hand, using a wooden spoon or Danish dough whisk or with the mixer on medium speed using the dough hook. Add in a couple of teaspoons of milk if the dough is too dry.
Transfer the dough to the work surface and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes until the dough is soft and smooth. It shouldn't be too sticky too handle.
Form the dough into a ball and place it in a clean bowl. It doesn't need to be oiled. The butter should keep the dough from sticking to the bowl. Let the dough bulk ferment in a warm place (70- 75 degrees F.) for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, cut out a circle of baking or greaseproof paper about 30 cm (12″) in diameter. Place the paper on a baking sheet.
To shape the flower, once risen, turn the dough out onto a surface, knock it back knead for 3-4 minutes. Divide the dough into 4 pieces and form each piece into a ball.
Roll a ball of dough out into a circle measuring about 25 cm (10″) in diameter. The dough should be about 3-4 mm (1/8″) thick.
Place the dough onto the baking paper and spread on a layer of Nutella, leaving a small gap at the edge. Don’t make the layer too thick but be sure to evenly cover the dough.
Roll out a second ball of dough, place it on the first layer and spread with Nutella. Repeat with the third and fourth balls of dough but do NOT spread Nutella on the final layer.
Cut the brioche into 16 segments but leave a small (3 cm/1½”) area in the center of the dough uncut.
Note about making the cuts: To keep from cutting too far into the center of the dough (like I did), and to make it more uniform, try using a ramekin or something small and round in the center of the dough while you’re making the cuts.
Take a pair of adjacent segments. Lift and twist them away from each other through 180°. Lift and twist through 180° again, then twist through 90° so that the ends are vertical. Press the edges together firmly. Repeat this process for all pairs of segments.
Place the brioche in a large plastic bag or cover with lightly oiled film. Leave in a warm place for 1-2 hours to prove.
Brush with the glaze then bake at 160°C/320°F fan oven, 180°C/360°F conventional oven for 20-25 minutes. I baked it at 375 degrees F. for 15 minutes, then turned it down to 350 and baked it another 5 minutes or so.
Place the bread on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, dust lightly with icing sugar, if desired. I didn’t think it needed the powdered sugar.
The Bread Baking Babes (current dozen) are:
- Bake My Day - Karen
- blog from OUR kitchen - Elizabeth
- Bread Experience - Cathy
- Feeding my Enthusiasms - Pat/Elle
- girlichef - Heather
- Life's a Feast - Jamie
- Living in the Kitchen with Puppies - Natashya
- Lucullian Delights - Ilva
- My Diverse Kitchen - Aparna
- My Kitchen In Half Cups - Tanna
- Notitie Van Lien - Lien
- Thyme for Cooking - Katie (Bitchin’ Bread Baking Babe Bibliothécaire)
Would you like to be a Bread Baking Buddy?
I’m the host kitchen this month and I’d love for you to bake along with us.
Just make the Nutella Brioche Flower, then email me your link (or email your photo and a bit about your experience if you don't have a blog). My email address is breadexperience (at) gmail (dot) com. Submissions are due by December 29th. Once you've posted, you'll receive a Buddy badge for baking along, then watch for a roundup of all of the BBBuddies posts a few days after the close of submissions.
I hope you'll join us this month!