Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It's Baaack!

And better than ever! Do you remember the Nutella bread recipe I posted a couple years ago, in honour of the second annual World Nutella Day? Well, I revisited that sucker for another, newer reason - this month's Nutella challenge at Bell’alimento!

Now I know it's really easy to get all gung-ho excited about this bread... there is something very luxurious about working the chocolatey, creamy spread into the supple but deceivingly wholesome dough! The whole mass, nestled in my mom's old aluminum mixing bowl (or our "bread bowl" as we call it!), warm and cozy on top of the stove, smells amazing even then! Needless to say, about 15 minutes after the shaped loaf hits the oven you are going to want to snatch it right back out and devour it straight, but bide your time - I promise it's worth it. The smell is almost identical to a thick slice of hot toast that's been slathered with the chocolate-hazelnut goodness, and it only gets better.

Ironically, for all the delicious aromas that fill the kitchen as this bread becomes reality, the finished loaf is not cloyingly sweet. In fact, it's hardly sweet at all - there is more of a nutty, earthy rich flavour to it reminiscent of a good pumpernickel that is made stronger if you let the dough proof overnight in the fridge for it's first rise. Of course, it would still make fantastic peanut butter and Nutella sandwiches (oh yes, I said it!), but I don't think it would be out of place with some ham and cranberry mustard either.

You'll notice this is a different recipe than before - a few ingredient tweaks took this bread from fantastic to sensational in my book - softer, but with more of a nutty flavour due to the addition of whole spelt bran and flax seed meal. I would definitely make it like this again - or better yet, a half and half dough with part peanut butter and part Nutella!

Nutella Bran Bread

Serves 16
1 pkg dry active yeast
½ cup warm water
¾ cup warm, whole milk
1 tbsp + 1/3 cup Nutella, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 2/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup spelt bran (or oat bran or wheat bran)
1 tbsp flaxseed meal
¾ cup rolled oats
1/2 tsp salt
  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water, let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in milk and 1 tbsp Nutella.
  3. Gradually stir in AP flour until a loose batter is formed.
  4. Cover and let rest 1 – 1 ½ hours.
  5. In a medium bowl combine whole wheat flour, bran, flaxseed, oats and salt.
  6. Beat flour mixture into the risen sponge, then add Nutella and continue beating (a stand mixer is handy for this) until a cohesive dough forms.
  7. Knead (by mixer or hand) for a minimum of 15 minutes, until dough is mostly smooth and a little glossy.
  8. Place in greased bowl and turn to grease the top. Cover and let rise in warm place 1 hour (you can also cover with plastic and place in the fridge overnight).
  9. Punch down and knead gently, then form into a loaf and place in a large, greased loaf pan.
  10. Cover and let rise 40 minutes - 1 hour, until almost doubled.
  11. Preheat oven to 350F.
  12. Bake loaf 55 minutes.
  13. Turn out immediately onto wire rack to cool.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 136.7
Total Fat: 3.4 g
Cholesterol: 1.2 mg
Sodium: 120.4 mg
Total Carbs: 23.4 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.6 g
Protein: 4.6 g


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