About a month and a half ago, I stumbled onto a listing for a new coffee shop in the area. The place hadn’t been open for long, but the reviews it had amassed in that time were all fantastic. Being the coffee-obsessed creature I am, I had to go give it a try. The second I had my first sip, I knew it was love at first Americano.
I frequented the shop for quite a while and got to talking to the owner while I waited for my drinks. We pretty quickly realized that I was as into pastry as he was into coffee, and since he wanted to expand his lineup he asked if I’d like to bake for his shop. I said yes, because frankly it sounded like a complete blast.
It’s been a little while since I’ve been baking in a commercial kitchen. This is a scaled down, more relaxed version of previous jobs I’ve had, but it comes with all the same fulfillment. I’ve got a case to fill up and beautify again, and the owner is all too happy to let me play around with new recipes and case items. Thankfully, it seems like the customers like what I’m doing.
One of the items I added to the case this past week were swirled Nutella rolls. Think a cinnamon roll, but fancier and stuffed with hazelnut-y, chocolate-y goodness. A healthy dose of egg wash gives it a gorgeous brown, glossy finish. I know everyone is saying Nutella’s played out, but since I’m German I’ve been having the stuff for breakfast since kindergarten. In my mind, it’s a classic, and it was a great alternative to the standard cinnamon roll. When I make them at the coffee shop I sometimes split one open while it’s still hot and hand it to whoever’s around; the warm gooey nutella is too good not to share.
Swirled Nutella Rolls
3/4 cup (180ml) milk
1/4 cup (60g) butter (+ 1 tsp to grease bowl)
3 3/4 cups (450g) all-purpose flour
1 (.25 ounce or 7g) package instant yeast
1/4 cup (50g) white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (60ml) water
Nutella (1 cup should be plenty, but it depends on how you spread it)
1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water, mixed (for egg wash)
1. In a saucepan, heat the milk until it bubbles. Add in the butter and swirl to melt it, then pour into a large glass bowl. Add in the water and 1 tbsp of the sugar and stir to dissolve. Once the mixture is warm but not hot, sprinkle the yeast over the milk. Wait 10 minutes or until the yeast becomes foamy.
2. Mix the egg into the yeast mixture. In a separate bowl, sift together the remaining sugar, flour, and salt. Add the mixture to the yeast mixture 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until the dough begins to come together and appears ragged. You may not need to use all of the flour, so use your best judgement. Dump the dough onto a lightly floured counter and knead until smooth.
3. Rinse and dry your bowl and grease it lightly with butter. Move your dough ball into the bowl and allow it to rise, covered with a damp cloth, until it doubles in size and no longer springs back when poked. Turn the dough out onto your counter and split it into 8 parts.
4. Take one part and roll it into an approximately 10″x5″ rectangle. Spread nutella over half of the dough surface, leaving a 1/2″ border around the edges. I use a piping bag to distribute the Nutella, since simply slathering it on can rip the delicate dough.
5. Fold the dough in half to cover the nutella, and if necessary pat/roll it to return it to a rectangular shape. Cut the dough into strips, leaving the short edges uncut, as shown below.
6. Starting at one corner, roll the dough into a log. Pinch the ends together and form the dough into a knot, then set it on your baking sheet. Repeat this process for the other 8 rolls.
7. Set your oven to 375°F (190°C) and allow it to heat up while you let the rolls rise a second time. Cover the rolls with a damp cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes or until once again doubled in size. Uncover the rolls. Use your egg wash to brush the dough part of the rolls. If any of the wash drips onto the sheet, carefully wipe it off so it won’t burn when you bake the rolls. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the egg wash has a nice color and the dough is lightly browned. Allow to cool; you may serve these rolls either warm or cold.
You can store these in an air tight container or bag for up to 3 days, but as with most bread items it’s best the first day or two.