Warm and gooey gluten free Nutella bread, filled with everyone’s favorite hazelnut spread. Braided for a gorgeous presentation, it’s dressed to impress!
This gorgeous braided gluten free Nutella bread is a true delight for the senses. And since I imagine you’re wondering, yes. Nutella is gluten free.
Making this fancy-looking yeast bread, though, isn’t actually any harder than making gluten free pinwheel cookies, for example. If you can roll dough into a cylinder, you can make this bread.
The main difference in method (other than a yeasted bread rise, of course!) is that, once the dough is rolled into a cylinder, it’s sliced in half right down the middle. Working with cold dough will make that a snap.
I have to confess that I’m not even the type to ever eat (or even think of eating) Nutella right from a spoon or anything. I’m not above it, but I just don’t crave it.
Even so, this lightly sweet, tender bread, twirled around and around to create perfectly thin layers of Nutella, made a believer out of me.
It’s not even a true “braid.” If you’re concerned that you aren’t great at braiding a small girl’s hair, you can’t make this bread, worry not! I can’t do anything other than a simple braid, and this braid is more of a twist.
There are only 3 grams of instant yeast (1 teaspoon) in the whole loaf. And the final rise is really more of a swelling, and not a doubling rise.
We don’t want the dough to rise high high high and lose its shape. Think of this more like a Danish than a loaf of bread.
1 cup (140 g) Gluten Free Bread Flour, as discussed more fully on pages 8 to 10 of GFOAS Bakes Bread, contains 100 grams Mock Better Batter all purpose gluten free flour (or Better Batter itself) + 25 grams whey protein isolate (I use NOW Foods brand) + 15 grams Expandex modified tapioca starch.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, place the flour, cream of tartar, instant yeast and sugar, and use a handheld whisk to combine well. Add the salt and whisk to combine well. Add the milk, eggs and butter, and mix on low speed with the dough hook until combined. Raise the mixer speed to medium and knead for about 5 minutes. The dough is a lovely, smooth, enriched dough. It climbs up the dough hook during kneading but remains intact and smooth. Spray a silicone spatula lightly with cooking oil spray, and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl or proofing bucket large enough for the dough to rise to double its size, spray the top of the dough with cooking oil spray, and cover with an oiled piece of plastic wrap (or the oiled top to your proofing bucket). Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days.**
**Note: If you prefer, you may make and use this dough on the same day. It will not be as easy to handle, however, but you can work with it. To use the dough the same day it is made, after making the dough, set the covered dough to rise in a warm, draft-free environment to allow it to rise to double its size (about 1 hour). Once it has doubled, place it in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes or until it is chilled. This will make it much easier to handle. Then, continue with the rest of the recipe instructions.
Preparing the dough for shaping. On baking day, line a small rimmed baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper, and set it aside. Turn out the chilled dough onto a lightly floured surface and, using the scrape and fold kneading method and using a very light touch, sprinkle the dough with more flour and knead it lightly, sprinkling with flour when necessary to prevent it from sticking, scrape the dough off the floured surface with a floured bench scraper, then fold it over on itself. Repeat scraping and folding until the dough has become smoother. Do not overwork the dough or you will incorporate too much flour and it will not rise properly.
Rolling out and filling the dough. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into a rectangle about 1/4-inch thick, and 12-inches high x 15-inches wide, sprinkling very lightly with more bread flour as necessary to prevent sticking. As you work, shift and move the dough frequently, as shown in my pizza shaping video. Before the dough is fully shaped, transfer it to lightly greased piece of unbleached parchment paper. You will use the parchment paper to help roll the dough into a cylinder. Dust off any excess flour from the surface of the rectangle facing up (this will help the Nutella adhere to the dough), and spread the warmed Nutella in an even layer on the dough, leaving a 3/4-inch border clean around the perimeter. Beginning at a 15-inch side of the dough, and using the parchment paper to assist you, roll the filled dough tightly into a cylinder, like a jelly roll, ending with the seam side down. Cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap, and place in the refrigerator to chill for about 10 minutes. This will make the final shaping infinitely easier.
Final shaping and rise. Once the dough has finished chilling, remove it from the refrigerator and uncover it. With a very sharp knife or pizza wheel, beginning about 1-inch from one end of the roll of dough, slice along the length of the dough all the way through to the end. You will have 2 strands of layered dough. Beginning at the intact end, twist each strand gently so that the cut sides of the dough are facing up. Braid the strands gently but securely back and forth over one another until you reach the end. You should have 4 or 5 twists before you reach the end. Cinch the open ends together and tuck them under the bread slightly. Transfer the dough to the prepared baking sheet. Place one hand on each end of the braid, and press the ends gently toward one another to create a slightly wider, shorter braid. This will help the braid rise together and adhere to create a nice loaf. Cover the baking sheet with a piece of oiled plastic wrap, and place in warm, draft-free location to rise only until just beginning to swell (about 20 minutes, but it could be more if your rising environment is particularly cold and/or dry). Do not overproof.
Bake. As the dough is in its final rise, preheat your oven to 375°F. Once the dough has finished rising, uncover it, brush the surface evenly with the egg wash, and place in the center of the preheated oven. Bake for 10 minutes, and turn the oven temperature down to 350°F. Continue to bake until the dough is golden brown all over (about 15 minutes more). If you would like the Nutella to remain a bit gooey, remove from the oven when the dough is brown on top, but still gives very slightly when pressed on top. Otherwise, bake until the top is firmer to the touch (about 5 additional minutes). Remove from the oven, and allow to cool on the baking sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Slice and serve when still slightly warm.
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