Do you like this Braided Nutella Christmas Tree Bread? Isn't it pretty? I think it looks pretty and I like it very much, although I did not do a good job in plaiting the braids. The braids were a little messy, but the bread was good, especially the nutella filling! It was sweet and crunchy, and it tasted very much like a brioche.
This bread tasted much better than the santa bread I did last week which had no filling and as a result was quite bland. Instead of nutella filling, you can put in kaya filling, red bean paste filling, or cinnamon filling, so that your braided christmas tree bread can be green or red too! :)
Recipe adapted from Steve's Kitchen
450g bread flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast (6g)
250ml warm milk (I left 1 tbsp behind)
2 egg yolks (keep the whites as egg-wash)
30g salted butter (I used unsalted)
1 cup nutella, warmed up slightly to spreadable consistency (I didn't warm it up in microwave
as my hazelnut spread was quite runny)
1. Put the wet ingredients first, followed by the dry ingredients on top in a large mixing bowl. Add salt and sugar at separate corners, then dig a hole in the centre and add in the yeast. Mix everything together and knead the dough until it becomes a smooth, pliable and non-stick dough. (I used the dough hook of my Bosch MUM5 stand-mixer to knead for about 12 min at speed 3. You can also use your hands to knead for about 10 to 12 min. Note that my dough was elastic and stretchable but yet to achieve windowpane stage. The dough was easy to handle, and was not sticky at all. I did not use up the full amount of milk, and there was still 1 tbsp left.)
2. After kneading, shape the dough into a big ball. Add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil or olive oil to grease the bowl, then turn the dough around to make sure it is well-greased. Cover with greased clingwrap and proof in a warm place for 1 to 1.5 hours or until doubled.
3. Punch down the dough and divide it into 4 equal portions. (My dough was 810g and each portion was 202g.)
4. Flour the work surface with bread flour. Use your palm to flatten one dough and shape it roughly into a triangle. Then flour the rolling-pin and roll the dough out into a tall triangle with a height of 30 cm. Transfer the triangular dough onto a sheet of baking paper and use a butter knife or offset spatula to spread the nutella filling very thinly onto the triangular dough. The nutella filling should cover the dough entirely except for the base where you should leave a fringe of about 1 inch and just spread the area of the tree trunk.
5. Roll out the 2nd piece of the dough into a similar sized triangle. Place it on top of the 1st piece and spread the nutella filling. Do the same for the 3rd piece. For the 4th piece, just place it on top of the 3rd piece without spreading the nutella.
6. Now trim the edges of the nutella christmas tree with a sharp serrated knife.
7. With the help of a ruler, make an indentation from the top to the base of the tree, just above where the tree trunk is. Do the same for the other side and you will have 2 indented lines that joins together at the top.
8. Cut the branches into 1 inch thick on each side of the tree, then twist each branch accordingly.
10. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 15 min or until golden brown. (I made a mistake, I mis-read the recipe and baked for 30 min in total, but I tented the bread with foil after 15 min, luckily it turned out alright even after 30 min!)
11. Once the bread is baked, remove it from oven and let it cool on a cooling rack. After it has cooled down for a while, dissolve a little sugar in warm water (I used 3 tsp in 3/4 cup), and use a pastry brush to glaze it over the bread. Then sprinkle white sesame seeds along the sides and the centre of the bread.
I am submitting this post to "My Treasured Recipes #4 - Ho Ho Ho It's Christmas (Dec 2014)" hosted by myself, Miss B of Everybody Eats Well in Flanders and co-hosted by Charmaine of Mimi Bakery House.
This post is also linked to YeastSpotting.