Does anyone else feel like Christmas has come around really fast this year? I feel like the start of Spring and this Peanut Butter Oreo Ice Cream were just yesterday, but that was over a month ago now! In New Zealand it’s now summer and so close to the end of the year it’s so exciting! Anyone have exciting plans for the Christmas break? My family are just doing the usual, we go up to Tauranga most years to see mum’s family (as dad’s family live in America) and there’s always a lot going on because mum has 5 siblings, 3 of whom also live in Tauranga and are around for Christmas too. So much family fun! My sister is spending Christmas away from us for the first time with her boyfriend’s family this year which is pretty sad, I’ll miss our twin time on Christmas morning! 🙁 But, we have chocolate to make up for that…
This twist bread is coming to you just in time for Christmas, how perfect is that?? As it’s a make-ahead treat it would be perfect for Christmas Day breakfast and would feed all of the family, bonus! It would be perfect for any time though really, I made the whole recipe which is two loaves on a Sunday and took one to work and the other one was for my family/boyfriend/sister’s boyfriend and was gone within the day. Seriously, it was that good. It’s adapted from this babka recipe from Pretty Simple Sweet and I wasn’t sure how it would turn out as I’ve never really made any sort of twist bread before, but talk about a great first time! 😉
The brioche dough means that the bread is soft and sweet with a slight crunch on the outside, and then it is stuffed full of Nutella and chocolate. You guys already know all about my Nutella obsession as illustrated with this ah-mazing Nutella cake so including Nutella in the filling for this bread was definitely a must. Although as an aside, it can be any chocolate hazelnut spread, I just used the Homebrand one from Countdown which was much cheaper, I just call it Nutella!
Make sure when you’re rolling out the dough that you roll it nice and thin and be very generous with the Nutella so that there is filling oozing out of the bread along with big handfuls of chocolate chips mmm… This was definitely a favourite at work, and is perfect for any time of year, Winter or Summer. In Winter a couple of slices of this warmed in the microwave or fresh from the oven along with some coffee or tea is a perfect breakfast or snack and in Summer it’s super easy to make because it rises so quickly in the sun. In fact, I wanted to put my loaf tins with the bread in the sun instead of in the fridge to make them rise faster and there was a nice little spot on the couch that was very sunny. When I suggested this though, mum said in no uncertain terms that apparently food does not belong on the couch! Hmmm luckily I found somewhere else for it to go and soon after we had soft and sweet Chocolate Brioche Twist Bread.
You can find the tutorial on twisting the parts of the loaf together here, and you have several options for rising the loaves depending on what time of day you want to start making it. Don’t forget the chocolate! Happy baking!
- [b]Brioche Dough[/b]
- 4 1/4 cups plain flour, sifted
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 Tbspn dry yeast
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 lemon, zested
- 115g (1/2 cup) butter, at room temperature and cut into small cubes
- 3/4 tspn salt
- 1 Tbspn oil, for greasing[br]
- [b]Chocolate Filling[/b]
- 1 cup Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
- 2/3 cup chocolate chips or chunks[br]
- [b]Sugar Syrup[/b]
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 sugar
- Place flour, sugar, and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl with an electric hand beater) fitted with the dough hook and mix on low speed until combined.
- Add eggs, water, and lemon zest, and mix until dough comes together, 2-3 minutes. While the mixer is running, add the butter, just a few cubes at a time.
- Mix until incorporated, about 5 minutes. Add salt and continue mixing for another 5 minutes on low speed, until the dough is completely smooth and elastic and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
- During mixing, scrape down the sides of the bowl using a spatula as needed.
- Place dough in a large bowl brushed with oil, cover with a damp tea towel, and leave in a warm space for 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in size.
- Grease two loaf tins with oil and line with baking paper, then set aside.[br]
- Click here for a photo tutorial on [url href=”http://prettysimplesweet.com/shaping-babka/” target=”_blank”]twisting together the brioche dough[/url].
- Divide dough in half. Roll out 1 ball of dough on a lightly floured surface and shape into a rectangle measuring 40×35 cm (16x14in).
- Position the dough so that the long side is closest to you. Using an offset spatula or butter knife, spread half of the Nutella spread over the rectangle, leaving a small 1cm (1/2in) border all around.
- Sprinkle half of the chocolate chips on top.
- Using both hands, roll up the rectangle like a roulade, starting from the long side furthest away from you and ending at the side closest to you.
- Press together the seam and the dough to seal it then turn the log to rest on its seam.
- Using a sharp knife, gently cut the roll in half lengthwise, starting at the top and finishing at the seam.
- You should have two long, even halves with the layers of dough and filling visible along the length of both. With the cut sides facing up, gently press together one end of each half, then lift the right half over the left half. Repeat the process again, this time lifting the left half over the right to create a simple two-pronged plait.
- Gently squeeze together the other ends so that you are left with two intertwined halves showing the filling on top.
- Carefully lift bread into a loaf pan. Don’t worry if there are gaps in the pan or if it looks a bit messy since the bread will rise more and fill out.
- Cover the pan with a damp tea towel and leave to rise in the fridge overnight, or in a warm space for around an hour if making all in one day.
- Repeat using the remaining dough and Nutella to create the second loaf.
- When ready to bake the loaves, preheat oven to 180°C (350°F).
- Remove the tea towel and place loaves on middle rack of oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.[br]
- While the brioche loaves are in the oven, make the syrup. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring water and sugar to a boil. As soon as the sugar dissolves (around 5 minutes), remove from heat and set aside to cool.
- Once the loaves are out of the oven, brush the syrup over them, until they are glistening and shiny. Let cakes cool until they are warm, then remove from pans and let cool completely before serving.
- Serve warmed in the microwave or at room temperature.
- The Chocolate Brioche Twist Bread will keep for up to three days when stored in an airtight container, although it’s definitely best on the first day.