Mother’s Day has snuck up on me faster than I’d like to admit, Friend. During a separation, your internal calendar tends to get a little out of whack. Holidays come and go in a flurry. So it is with this Mother’s Day. There are too many heartaches associated with Mother’s Day, for me, so I’ve never celebrated the holiday with gusto. This year, though, I wanted to share a recipe that is a favorite of mine. This loaf of Nutella and Almond Brioche is it.
It’s no secret that I have a thing for brioche bread. I don’t know that there’s anything to dislike about the buttery, flaky, pillowy (I got plenty more adjectives, people) bread. Of course, one never thinks they can improve upon greatness. I was once foolish enough to believe that with regards to my brioche. One lazy Sunday morning, my eyes happened to fall upon a brand new jar of Nutella, and all that changed.
My son is a Nutella nut (pun intended) and he’s also a great little sous chef. I knew that he would love developing a new bread recipe with me- especially if a few hits of Nutella was in it for him. We set out to make a nutella brioche and my little apprentice suggested topping it with a nut of some variety. I let him make the big decision and he returned from the pantry proudly displaying his selection. And, thus, my nutella brioche became our nutella and almond brioche.
This recipe, when using the brioche recipe from above, is pretty straightforward. The loaf is essentially a babka, except the streusel topping is replaced with slivered almonds. Doubling and twisting the sliced loaf makes a for a dramatic baked bread. Nutella and Almond brioche is always received with exclamations of “Oohs” and “Aahs” when served at my table.
The almonds can be replaced with any nut that you prefer, or as mentioned above, replaced altogether with a streusel topping. Nutella and almond brioche, like most of my breads, also freezes beautifully. Make two loaves and freeze one after wrapping in plastic film, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. It’ll keep for up to two months!
Why is this my first recipe for a Mother’s Day recipe series? Well, that’s due to the fact that it was the first recipe collaboration between my son and I. I have a feeling, it won’t be our last.
Nutella and Almond Brioche
Yield 1 loaf
This recipe is easily doubled. A full brioche recipe will make two loaves.
all-purpose flour, for rolling out the dough
1 13oz jar (or 2 cups) Nutella hazelnut spread
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 batch brioche dough
1 cup slivered almonds (or streusel topping)
1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water whisked together (egg wash)
Line a bread pan with two sheets of parchment paper, one crosswise and one lengthwise. Allow the paper to overlap the pan's edges; this will make removing the baked bread easier.
In a small bowl, stir together the nutella and the cinnamon. Set aside.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out into a 10"x 16" rectangle. Using an offset spatula or large spoon, spread a thin, even layer of the nutella onto the surface of the dough. Leave a 1" margin along one long side (on the edge farthest away from you) of the dough to allow for sealing.
Fold over a 1/2" of the long side go the dough and continue to roll the dough away from you (as if you are rolling cinnamon rolls). Make sure to roll the dough tightly and press down slightly to pack the roll. This will prevent the baked dough from falling apart when sliced.
Brush the uncovered margin of dough with a light coating of egg wash, and finish the roll with a pinch to seal the seam.
Using a very sharp knife, or razor blade, slice the dough in half, lengthwise. Try not to move the pieces from where they are. Pinch two ends together to connect the pieces of brioche. Begin to twist the dough from one end to the other. Carefully, bring the ends of the dough together so that your dough is now in a horseshoe, or looped, shape. Pinch the two ends together and twist this to form a larger rope shape.
Carefully, transfer the dough to the prepared pan (it's okay if it's messy). Brush lightly with the egg wash. Cover with a clean towel and allow to rise in a warm, draft-free area* for 45 minutes-1 hour or until doubled in size.
While your dough is rising, preheat an oven to 375°F. Once the dough has risen, brush the surface again with egg wash and bake for 25-30 minutes. If the dough begins to brown too quickly, cover it lightly with a piece of foil. Bake until golden brown or until it sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Once cooled, slice and enjoy!
* A microwave is the perfect place for doughs to rise!
Cuisine Eastern European
Also check out these great recipes for Mother’s Day:
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