There are some desserts that look complicated and totally impress everyone around you, but only you know how simple they are to put together! That’s where these Nutella Braided Brioche Wreaths come in. Just reading the word brioche is enough to fill any home cook with horror. Just hang on with me here and you’ll see that these aren’t that complex. There is no reason to let anyone in on that secret though! Let them think it took some serious skill and hard work to make these!! 😉
The best part about making brioche is that you do none of the work! You need a stand mixer for this recipe for sure. All the kneading and mixing is taken care by the mixer while you sip on your coffee and stare out your window or watch TV or catch up on your Instagram! That has to be a winner you guys!
So here is how it goes. You mix up all the ingredients for the brioche and let the stand mixer do its thing. Then fold the dough into a package and let it rise and chuck it in the fridge overnight. The next morning, roll, braid, proof, bake and eat! Voila! Eating is my favorite part, FYI. With a coffee.. for bunch! Perfect start to the day!! If you love Nutella, this is your jam! If you are alien like my husband and don’t like Nutella, you can make a chocolate mixture and spread that on. (Side note: How does anyone NOT like Nutella???!! I’m resigned to look at him weirdly for life!!)
I took some process shots to guide you through the process. They are Iphone pictures, so they aren’t my finest work, but just so you get the idea! Scroll down under the recipe guide to see those pictures.
Yield: 8 wreaths
For the Brioche
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 tsp instant yeast
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into 1/8th inch dice
1/4-1/3 cup Nutella
For the brioche, place the flour and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix for about 10 seconds to make sure that the yeast is distributed evenly. Add the rest of the remaining dough ingredients except for the butter and mix on low speed for 4 minutes. Add the butter a few pieces at a time, making sure to incorporate after each addition before adding the next. Stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and push the dough off the hook. You might have to do that several times during the kneading/mixing process. Mix for a total of 30 minutes on low speed. Don’t skimp on the time, you need the butter to be completely incorporated in the dough. By the end the dough will be soft and smooth.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and roll out slighly to make a rectangle. Fold the left side over to the right, the right over to the left, then the top to the bottom and the bottom to the top so you have a “package” with the seam at the top. Place the dough seam-side down in the prepared oiled-bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it ferment (rise) for 1 hour.
Repeat the folding process once more and then place it back in the bowl, cover with the plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the brioche from the refrigerator and divide it into four equal pieces. Work with one piece of dough at a time while keeping the rest in the refrigerator.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out one piece of dough to 40 cm by 20 cm. If the dough becomes too warm at any point, gently place it on the back of a sheet pan lined with parchment and refrigerate for 10 minutes, then continue working. It is very important to make sure that the dough is cold at all times. You don’t want the dough to start getting buttery.
Spread 2-3 tablespoons of Nutella onto the brioche using an offset spatula (do not add too much Nutella, it will cause it to ooze out later), reaching all the way to the edges but leaving 2 cm of dough bare on one of the long sides. Brush the bare part with water. Starting from the other long side, roll up the dough tightly and evenly. Once the dough is rolled up, gently roll the log until it is 50 cm in length, being careful not to squish or deform the dough. Cut each 50 cm log into two 25 cm logs.
Using a large knife, make a cut in the dough log, leaving 3 cm at the top uncut. Place the right half of dough over the left, then repeat until you have a “braid” of dough. Gently brush a bit of water onto the ends of the dough and press them together, then place on a parchment lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining doughs. You should have 8 total wreaths.
Place a piece of plastic wrap lightly on the surface of the brioche and let it proof in a warmish place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. You could put it in your oven, turned off, if you think it is the warmest place in your oven. Just check every half an hour to make sure that the dough rises.
Preheat the oven to 300 F. Brush the brioche with egg wash, being careful not to drag any of the filling onto the brioche when you do, and bake until golden brown, abut 20 to 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool completely.