Nutella Brioche Flower {Bread Baking Babes}

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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


Nutella Brioche Flower

Makes: 1 large Nutella Brioche Flower

Adapted from:

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.


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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.

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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:

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. 

Here’s how:

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) comSubmissions 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!

Happy Baking!


Orange Einkorn Biscotti with Nuts and Seeds

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The sounds of Jingle Bells and White Christmas played in the background while Charlie, my beautiful, blue-eyed, husky-mix lay contently on the kitchen floor.

Orange Einkorn Biscotti with Nuts and Seeds

Charlie was watching me bake, hoping for a morsel or two, but it wasn’t going to happen. This biscotti, enveloped in nuts and orange rind, was for a special get together that evening. No sharing until I got to the Christmas Party, except for the obligatory taste test. I had to sample one (or two or three) to make sure they turned out okay.

You see, this is not just any twice-baked biscuit, this delightful treat is made with Einkorn and a little bit of cornmeal.  If you haven’t heard about this ancient grain, check out my article on Baking with Einkorn.

Since this was to be it’s debut, the biscotti had to be perfect.  The taste test confirmed that they were ready for prime time. 

Orange Einkorn Biscotti with Nuts and Seeds


I had intended to make this biscotti completely with walnuts; however, I didn’t have enough so I used a mixture of walnuts and pecans. The mixture of nuts gave them a deliciously crunchy flavor and the hint of orange and anise seeds put them over the top.


Orange Einkorn Biscotti with Nuts and Seeds

Adapted from: Walnut Biscotti from The Cookie and Biscuit Bible by Catherine Atkinson with recipes by Joanna Farrow & Valerie Barrett

Makes: 30 –40, depending on how thick you slice them


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (I used organic raw sugar)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon + 2 tsp. walnut oil (or olive oil) *
  • Finely grated rind of 2 small oranges
  • 2 1/4 – 2 1/3 cups all-purpose Einkorn flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • Salt **
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seed *
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts (I used a mixture of walnuts & pecans)
  • 2 tsp. anise seeds, crushed
  • 2 tsp. water, if necessary *

* Einkorn doesn’t absorb liquids the same way that all-purpose flour does so you need to reduce the amount of liquid used when working with Einkorn.  I used one egg and added some ground flax seed and a little extra oil as well as a teaspoon or two of water until the dough was the right consistency – i.e. soft but not sticky.

** Note on the omission of salt: I did not use any salt in this recipe. I asked a few people if they thought something was missing and they didn’t think it needed any salt. You can add some but I wouldn’t add very much – 1/8 to 1/4 tsp. at the most.



Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Spread the chopped nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and bake them in the preheated oven for 5 – 7 minutes or until they are just beginning to brown. Be careful not to burn them.

Note: Einkorn flour is delicate so I mixed the dough by hand using a Danish dough whisk and my hands.

Place the softened butter and sugar in a large bowl and beat together well. This is the part where I used my hands. Just mix the butter and sugar together really well.  It’s a little bit messy, but good therapy.

Add the beaten egg, walnut oil and the orange rind and mix well using a Danish dough whisk (or your hands).

Sprinkle the flour, baking powder and salt over the mixture and add the cornmeal, nuts and anise seeds. Mix the dough until the nuts and seeds are thoroughly distributed throughout. 

Adjust the hydration as necessary to achieve a dough that is soft but not sticky.  This is the point where I added more water.  If your dough is a little too dry, add a little bit of water.  If it is too sticky, add a bit more flour. 

Shape the dough into three logs about 7-9 inches long by 2 inches in diameter.  Place the logs slightly apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet.


Bake the logs for 35 minutes at 325 degrees F.

Remove the logs to a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes.  Then slice them diagonally into 1/2-inch slices.


Place the slices on the parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for an additional 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven to a wire rack to cool completely.

Orange Einkorn Biscotti with Nuts and Seeds


The evening was filled with fun and laughter as we exchanged gifts and played Pictionary with Christmas Carols.  A good time was had by all.

When it came time to sample the biscotti, everyone asked what was in them.  They could taste the hint of orange, but they couldn’t quite place the anise seeds until I told them. 

The biscuits went over really well. Fortunately, there was some leftover so I enjoyed some with coffee the next day.  I must say, they taste even better after resting overnight.

Orange Einkorn Biscotti with Nuts and Seeds


Happy Holiday Baking!



Sour Cream Banana Spelt Waffles

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What do you do when you have ripe bananas and a bit of sour cream? You make sour cream banana waffles, that’s what. 

Sour Cream Banana Spelt Waffles


I bet you thought I was going to say banana bread. According to The Kitchn, banana bread is the hottest food on the internet these days.

Although I really enjoy making banana bread, I decided to do something different and start my own trend. Sometimes, life is more interesting that way.

Actually, the main reason I made these waffles is for a visitor to my site who asked if I had a tasty recipe for waffles made with Spelt flour. That sounded like a great idea to me and a good diversion from the usual Holiday baking. So I took one of my favorite recipes and adapted it to use spelt flour.

These waffles are made with freshly-milled whole grain Spelt, but you could also use all-purpose Spelt flour.



If you are looking for something different to make for a Holiday breakfast or brunch, you might enjoy these spelt waffles. They are tasty and easy to prepare. 

To bring out the flavor, use a really ripe banana, but not overly ripe.  Also be sure to cook the waffles until they are crispy and brown on the outside; otherwise, you could end up with a gooey banana mess on the inside.  Ask me how I know.

Sour Cream Banana Spelt Waffles


Sour Cream Banana Whole Grain Spelt Waffles

Adapted from this waffle recipe

Makes: 6 to 8 waffles


  • 1 cup whole grain Spelt flour (I used home-milled flour)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, separated
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 very ripe banana, mashed



In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a small bowl, beat the egg white with a whisk until light peaks form. This will take a little while, but it’s worth the effort.

Add the egg yolk, sour cream, milk, butter, and banana to the flour mixture and mix well.

Fold in the whipped egg white.

Pour 1/2 to 2/3 cup of batter onto the waffle baker. Cook 6 to 7 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve with sliced bananas and walnuts or your choice of fruit and nuts and drizzle your favorite syrup over the top for an extra burst of flavor.


Sour Cream Banana Spelt Waffles


Thanks for the idea, David.  I had fun working on this dish and enjoyed a Saturday Brunch in the process.

Happy Baking!


Pain au Romarin– Sourdough Rosemary Bread

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The bread of the month for November for the Artisan Bread Bakers was Pain au Romarin, affectionately known as Sourdough Rosemary Bread. I made these loaves last month, but I waited until December to post about them.

Pain au Romarin - Sourdough Rosemary Bread


A search of Romarin returns some interesting results on Google. You can hunt for international trademarks on the Romarin database or perhaps you might like camping at Le Romarin in Argeles near the Spanish border.  I would love to visit the Spanish border, but I’ll have to save that for a different post.

This one focuses on another translation for Romarin – Rosemary.  


For those of you who enjoy the beautiful, fragrant and delicious herb from the Mediterranean, I invite you to make this bread and bask in the heavenly scent drifting through the air. You’ll thank me later.

These loaves include 28 grams of chopped rosemary. While I was mixing the dough, I kept thinking “wow” that’s a lot of rosemary, but once you mix it in, it makes a delicious dough. It’s not overpowering at all.

I’m happy to say that I was able to enjoy this wonderful essence from the bush growing outside my front door.

My other rosemary plant bit the dust during the unseasonably cold winter we had earlier this year. So I’m delighted to have another bush growing so well.  I hope this one survives the winter. 


Pain au Romarin – Sourdough Rosemary Loaves

Makes: 2 large loaves

Pain au Romarin - Sourdough Rosemary Bread


This is another classic adaption of a Richard Miscovich bread brought to you by David of, one of the admins for the Artisan Bread Bakers FB group. David increased the hydration to 75% and retained the whole wheat flour.  And all of the flavor if I might add.


  • 227g organic all-purpose flour
  • 227g water
  • 45g Sourdough Starter

Final Dough:

  • 454g water, warm
  • 454g levain
  • 457g organic all-purpose flour
  • 228g home-milled whole wheat flour
  • 14g Kosher salt
  • 28g finely chopped fresh rosemary

Make the Levain:

The evening before you plan to bake the loaves, combine the levain ingredients in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow it to ferment at 75 degrees for 8 hours, or longer if it ferments at a lower temperature. Mine fermented for 12 hours at about 65 degrees.



Mix some of the warm water with the levain to break it up.  Combine the rest of the ingredients, except the salt and rosemary, using a Danish dough whisk or wooden spoon or your hands. Mix thoroughly until the flours are completely hydrated.

When the dough becomes a sticky, shaggy mass, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough autolyse (rest)  for thirty minutes at room temperature. 


After the autolyse, sprinkle the salt and rosemary over the top of the dough and work them in using your fingers.  Hand knead the dough for 6-10 minutes by doing a series of fold-and-turns in the bowl.  Refer to my Tartine post to see photos of the fold-and-turn method. 

Resist the urge to add any additional flour, it is supposed to be a wet dough. You can do the folds on the counter, but I do them in the bowl so that you don’t have to add any extra flour. 


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Bulk Ferment & Folding:

Ferment the dough at room temperature (75 degrees) for 2.5 hours with four folds in thirty minute intervals.

Final Shaping & retarding in refrigerator overnight:

This bread can be proofed for two hours at room temperature in linen-lined baskets or in the refrigerator for 12-15 hours. I chose the latter.

After the bulk ferment and folds, my dough was fairly easy to work with. So I shaped it into round boules and let them rest for 20 minutes on the counter sprinkled with a little flour.

Then I shaped them into tight rounds and placed them seamside up in lined- banneton baskets sprinkled with a mixture of all-purpose/rice flour. Then I placed them in the refrigerator overnight.

Note: If you do proof in the fridge, heavily flour your linen, rice flour will help to keep the dough from sticking to the basket. If you so choose, you can brush the remaining (extra) flour of the bread before baking with a pastry brush.  I didn’t need to brush any excess flour off. Most of it had absorbed in the dough.

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Video on shaping wet dough:

If you need assistance shaping wet dough, you might like this video on shaping a Tartine - Chad Robertson’s method for shaping wet dough :, the shaping starts at the 3:09 minute mark.

Scoring & Baking the Loaves:

After the final proof, (the next day if you let them proof in the refrigerator overnight).

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. for at least 30 minutes with a Dutch oven or Dutch oven combo baker on the bottom rack. I used a Dutch oven combo baker to bake both of the loaves.

Remove one loaf from the refrigerator and carefully flip it over onto the bottom of the combo baker (or Dutch oven).  Score the loaf in the pattern of your choice.  If you are using a Dutch oven, this will be tricky so be careful not to burn yourself.

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Bake the loaf at 450 degrees for 20 minutes with the lid on.  Remove the lid and finish baking for an additional 20-30 minutes.

Remove the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving.

Repeat the process with the other loaf.  Let the oven and the Dutch oven warm back up to 450 degrees, then take the other loaf out of the refrigerator and score and bake it.

Pain au Romarin - Sourdough Rosemary Bread


Enjoy the smell of rosemary while you are working. Trust me, you will be rewarded for your efforts. This bread is so good. I ate some with butter and some with olive oil.  Fabulous!

Happy Baking!


Sourdough Garlic Knots for Thanksgiving

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I recently joined the Sourdough Breads-Milling-Growing the Wheat FB group and this month, the host (Jane of the Fermenters Kitchen) presented us with the opportunity to bake Sourdough Garlic Knots. Sourdough and garlic butter sounded like a winning combination to me so I wanted to serve the rolls for a special occasion.

Sourdough Garlic Knots

I hosted a small gathering for Thanksgiving Dinner at my house and I thought it would be a good opportunity to try something different than our normal dinner rolls.  Any opportunity to make and share bread is a good one in my book, but this occasion was especially beneficial because these family members enjoy sampling new food creations.  As long as they are edible, that is. 

These garlic rolls are definitely edible and full of flavor. They were a big hit.  I barely had enough left to get a photo.

The best part was how easy they are to prepare. They fit in with my schedule quite nicely.  I made the dough Wednesday evening and let it ferment overnight, then I shaped, proofed and baked the rolls in time for dinner (in the afternoon) on Thursday.

I doubled the recipe below and used all-purpose flour instead of bread flour.  Since my sourdough starter is 100% hydration (not a stiff starter), I had to add a good bit more flour. I should’ve held back the water during the mixing phase to see if I even needed it, but I forgot.  I ended up using about 1/2 – 3/4 cup additional flour and more for sprinkling.

The garlic knots turned out really well especially with the garlic butter and parsley glaze drizzled over them.

Sourdough Garlic Knots


Sourdough Garlic Knots

As shared by the Fermenter’s Kitchen on FB

Also consulted the Garlic Knots Recipe on Simply Recipes for the shaping method

Yield: depends on how big you make them

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup sourdough starter – recently fed*
  • 1 1/4 cup bread flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 3/4 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

* If your starter is 100% hydration (same ratio of flour-to-water) rather than a stiff starter (more flour than water), you may need to add more flour to this dough, especially if you use all-purpose flour instead of bread flour. Don’t worry about it though. The rolls should turn out fine.

Step 1: Feed sourdough starter (the morning of day before baking)

Feed your sourdough starter following your normal procedure.  If you want to double the recipe, you’ll need to increase it so that you have 2 cups of starter.


Create a culture proof following the instructions in this post on Activating a Sourdough Culture & Creating the Culture Proof. It will show you how to easily feed and increase your sourdough starter as well as reduce the acidity level. It only takes a few minutes to prep each step.  Most of the time is spent proofing the starter.


Step 2: Prepare the final dough (the evening before baking)

Combine sourdough starter, water, olive oil and salt.  I recommend reserving the water until you add the flour.  If your starter is 100% hydrated, you may not need the water.

Add flour until it's a ball (if using a mixer add until it forms a ball). Place on the counter and knead it a few times. Don't over mix either by hand or by machine. 


Step 3: Bulk Fermentation on counter

Place the dough in a clean bowl and cover it with plastic wrap.  Let it ferment at room temperature for 2 hours. Do a fold after 30 minutes and another fold after 1 hour, then let the dough rest for another hour. Since the dough is sticky, it benefits from the stretch and folds before the overnight fermentation in the refrigerator.


Step 4: Overnight Fermentation in the fridge

After the 2 hour fermentation, cover the bowl tightly and place it in the refrigerator overnight.


Step 5: Warm up dough to room temperature (next day)

Take the dough out of the refrigerator and allow to come to room temp about 1-2 hours.

Divide the dough in half (or 4 pieces if you doubled the recipe). 

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.


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Step 6: Shape and proof the knots 

Take one half of the dough and cut it in half using a bench knife or a sharp knife.  Flatten one piece into a 5-inch by 5-inch square. It should be about 1/2-inch thick.

Using a sharp knife or a bench knife, cut the dough into strips of 1 inch wide by 5 inches long.

Cut the five strips in half. Take one strip and work it into a rope, then tie it in a knot. Sprinkle each strip with flour before tying the knots because the dough will be sticky along the edges that were cut.

Place each knot down on the parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough. Leave space between the knots so they have room to rise.

Brush the rolls with olive oil, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let them rest in a warm place until doubled in size.  This could take anywhere from 90 minutes to a couple of hours.


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Step 6: Bake the Garlic Knots

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bake the rolls for 10-15 minutes. The knots are not meant to be brown and crisp. If you make the rolls larger, it may take a bit longer to bake them.

Remove the rolls and place them on a cooling rack.


Prepare the garlic butter glaze:

  • 5 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Melt the butter and add the minced garlic.  Cook gently over medium-low heat for a couple of minutes.  Add the parsley and salt and stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat.

Brush the fresh out of the oven knots with the butter and garlic glaze.


Sourdough Garlic Knots


Happy Baking!


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