Baking holiday cheer: Braided bread easier than it looks
FARGO - Every holiday season, I Google like crazy to get ideas for new dishes to make for Christmas breakfast.I'm not crazy about egg bakes or quiche and making mounds of pancakes and waffles for a crowd can be bah-humbug inducing. That's why bre...
FARGO - Every holiday season, I Google like crazy to get ideas for new dishes to make for Christmas breakfast.
I'm not crazy about egg bakes or quiche and making mounds of pancakes and waffles for a crowd can be bah-humbug inducing. That's why breakfast breads are a nice option, and it's especially fabulous when the bread itself looks festive.
I stumbled across this recipe from Ladylifehacks.com while perusing Pinterest. At first, I was just happy to see something not being made in a Mason jar. (Isn't it easier to put that cute layered salad or those overnight oats in a good old fashioned Tupperware container?)
But then I noted that the Braided Nutella Bread was really gorgeous and didn't look crazy difficult.
However, we've all said that before while finding something on Pinterest, right?
And we're left with giant fails: adorable minion cupcakes that look like Truman Capote and Oscar the Grouch cake that looks like an autopsy. Yep, nailed it.
I went into this braided bread challenge with eyes wide open. Could I make this bread look like a beautiful Christmas star the way others have online? (Watch the video of how to braid the bread to see if I nailed it or failed it.)
I followed the recipe almost exactly. I chose to use Biscoff Cookie Butter instead of Nutella because Biscoff Cookie Butter is life-affirming.
Therefore, I changed the name of the bread as well.
Spoiler: I will definitely be making this Christmas morning. Enjoy!
Christmas Braided Biscoff Bread
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
Corn flour or cornmeal (optional)
½ teaspoon yeast
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
Jar of Biscoff Spread (or Nutella)
Brown food coloring (optional)
Dissolve yeast in water and set it aside for approximately 10 minutes. Using the bread hook attachment on your stand mixer, stir together the flour, salt and sugar. Pour in the yeast mixture and combine everything at a low speed until a dough forms. Turn the speed up to medium and mix the dough for approximately 7 minutes more.
Lightly oil a large bowl and dump the dough into it. Stretch plastic wrap over the top of the bowl and set it in a warm location for approximately 1 hour or until the dough is about twice the size as the original. (I put the bowl on the warming burner of my stove at a low temperature).*
Cut off half of the dough after it has risen and roll it out on a flat surface to form a circle. Sprinkle corn flour or cornmeal on a piece of parchment paper laid on a baking sheet. (This is optional, but it helps the bread come off the parchment paper even easier). Transfer the dough to the paper.
In the meantime, scoop out 3/4 jar of Biscoff (smooth or chunky) and put it into a bowl. Add a little bit of brown food coloring to darken the color of the Biscoff. (This is totally optional. I just thought it made the bread look prettier to have a darker spread. Obviously, if you're using Nutella this step isn't necessary.) Stir until desired color.
Spread a liberal amount of Biscoff over this dough layer, leaving one inch around the outside of the circle bare.
Cut a small circle into the center of the dough. Cut 16 pie-shaped wedges out from that circle. You should have eight pairs of two. Twist each pair of dough wedges away from each other, making a layered twist shape in the middle of each. Do this for all pairs around the entire bread circle. Let the dough sit - covered - in a cool place for about 20 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Uncover the dough and coat it lightly with an egg wash made by scrambling an egg. Put the pan in the oven for about 20 minutes until the dough browns nicely. Turn the oven up to 425 degrees Fahrenheit to finish baking for an additional 5 minutes or so.** Allow it to cool completely out of the oven before serving.
Recipe altered slightly from Ladylifehacks.com
*Baker's note: Be patient in letting your dough rise. I think I could have let it rise a little bit longer for a fuller loaf.
**Baker's note: Watch the bread closely when you turn the temperature up to 425 degrees. Before I did that, it looked like the dough was nearly raw, but after 5 minutes at 425 degrees, it was almost too done.
Readers can reach Tracy Briggs at (701) 451-5632.