Touring the internet, I came across a picture of braided Nutella bread on Pinterest that looked AMAZING! I had some Justin’s Maple Almond Butter on hand, so I thought I’d create my own version of this recipe from Inspired by Charm. http://inspiredbycharm.com/2013/09/braided-nutella-bread.html
Spoiler alert: This bread is delicious! I am already modifying the recipe in my head to create savory versions as well.
Braided Almond Butter Bread
½ teaspoon yeast
1 cup warm water (divided into ¾ & ¼ cups)
2 ½ cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon coconut sugar (or vegan granulated sugar)
½ to ¾ cup Justin’s Maple Almond butter (or nut butter of your choice)
¾ cup raisins
Cornmeal for dusting
1 teaspoon Ener-G Egg Replacer mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for “egg” wash
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in ¼ cup of warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes to activate. Be sure the water is not too hot or it will kill the yeast. I just ensure the water is warm to the touch.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add yeast and the remaining water, mix on low with a dough hook attachment. Once combined, increase speed to medium and knead dough for about 7 minutes. *I found this dough to be super sticky. I added about 2 tablespoons or so of flour while it was kneading to keep it from being too slack. You aren’t going for a smooth dough here, but you do want to be able to handle it easily. Just remember, the more flour you add during the kneading process, the drier your final loaf will be.
Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover bowl loosely (I used a cloth napkin) and set in a warm, draft free place. Allow to rise about an hour, the dough should be doubled in bulk .
On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to form a 12 x 15″ rectangle. To make life easier, heat the nut butter in the microwave in increments of 25 seconds, stirring between heatings, until it reaches an easily spreadable consistency. Spread the nut butter evenly on the dough surface, being sure to leave a ½ inch border of dough. (After using ½ cup of almond butter, I still had a bald spot, so I ended up using more like ¾ cup.) Sprinkle raisins on top of the nut butter. Roll tightly and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet that’s been dusted with cornmeal or flour. Using a knife, start about an inch or two from one end and cut the dough down the middle; this will leave one end intact. Starting with the intact end, twist the pieces overtop each other, making sure to turn cut side toward the top. Cover dough loosely and let rise for 20 minutes.
While your bread is rising, preheat oven to 350°F. Just before you place your loaf in the oven, brush surface of the bread with the “egg” wash. Bake for 20 minutes. Raise temperature to 425°F and bake until lightly browned on top, about 5-7 minutes more. Be sure to keep an eye on your bread during this last 5 minutes to avoid over-browning. Remove from oven, and let cool on wire rack before serving.