This recipe is a great one if you like a simple dough with many possibilities. I used Nutella for this session, but you can use any other thing you prefer, nuts, nut butter (peanut butter!!!), cinnamon and sugar, jam, etc.
1/4 cup of lukewarm water
1 packet of instant yeast
2 tbsp of brown sugar
1/2 cup of milk (I used rice milk)
2 tbsp melted butter
2 cups of strong flour
1 tsp salt
Nutella (to taste)
Firstly, prepare the starter by mixing the water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl or recipient. Cover with a cloth or cling film and wait until it starts to foam (about 10 minutes).
Mix the egg, the milk and the butter. To this mix, add the yeast starter. Separately combine the salt to the flour (never add the salt to the yeast directly or you can kill your dear yeast!). Start slowly adding the flour to the batter until well combined.
Knead your dough until smooth and elastic. You can use a machine or do it by hand, like me. It took me about 5-6 minutes to reach the elasticity I was looking for.
Place the dough in a bowl. Wet your hands with water and spread it all over the dough before covering it (this prevents the dough from drying and forming a hard layer). Let your dough proof now for 1 hour or more. It will depend on the temperature of your kitchen. Ideally it should double its size.
After the dough has proved, knock it down on a floured surface and roll it out with a rolling pin (I had to improvise and used a glass because my rolling pin is in Ireland right now!). Spread the Nutella (or your preferred mix) and roll it like a roulade. Cut it in half and then braid it by interlacing the two parts one on top of the other. Make sure the part showing the Nutella is facing upwards. Place it on a tray and let it proof again until it doubles its size (it should be shorter this time).
Bake it at 190 C in a preheated oven for 30 minutes.
When the bread is ready leave it to cool on a rack.
TIP: make a simple sugar syrup (sugar and water boiled until slightly reduced) and brush the top of the bread for a nice finish and a sweeter taste.