WARNING: Our entry for this year’s World Nutella Day should not be attempted.
I LOVE Nutella. (Perhaps you can relate?)
Recently, I found some Nutella on sale at a grocery store here. The price was surprisingly reasonable. The catch? It was going to expire within a month. Ahhh! But so what? The way I eat Nutella, it doesn’t take me all that long to go through a jar of it. So I bought two jars!
I came home and decided that one jar was going into some baked goods. I remember Jaden from Steamy Kitchen doing a "no knead" challah with Nutella and Hazelnuts last year and so I went in search of some recipes. I was planning to do Jaden’s challah but got distracted by another post on Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy, who did a Nutella-pistachio "no knead" brioche. The picture of the Nutella oozing out of this really soft, yummy-looking bread and topped with pistachios just got me drooling big time. I just had to make it.
Third Time’s a Charm?
Longtime readers may recall, we have attempted no-knead recipes in the past, to less than spectacular results. But since I wanted to try no-knead one more time, I decided to go ahead with this recipe. I really wanted to be successful. I looked at the Artisan Bread in Five blog and got their brioche recipe. I read up on all the other people who had success. I made my dough THREE whole days ahead for ultimate flavor. I was excited. I was hopeful. I was drooling, thinking of my beautiful brioche filled with Nutella and Macadamia nuts (didn’t have pistachios).
Making the dough was a piece of cake! Just mix all the ingredients together and give it a good stirring and then cover loosely with plastic and let it sit in my fridge for 3 days. So far so good.
Baking day came along and I went to the fridge and got my dough out. I took off the plastic cover and the first thing that hits me is the smell of yeast. In fact, the yeasty smell was almost overwhelming. I was a little put off but gamely forged ahead.
Risen Brioche Dough
I took out a chunk the size of a cantaloupe. It was very sticky. So sticky that I had to flour my hands and my work surface quite a bit. I had to add more flour to get it to a workable dough. Then after shaping it (it was really nice and soft), and adding the Nutella, I put it in my pan and let it rise. Again, so far, so good.
After the rise and the eggwash and the sprinkling of macadamia nuts, I put it into my preheated oven and let it bake. I was hopeful. I was excited. I was drooling and thinking, Nutella brioche—yummy! My kids were all eagerly waiting on the sidelines (because I had forbidden them from eating any of the Nutella as I needed the whole jar for this recipe and they had finished the other jar—told you we wouldn’t have a problem!).
Nutella Brioche with Macadamia Nuts
It came out, cooled and I cut into it to let Nate take a picture and then, not able to wait any longer, I took a bite.
It wasn’t like any brioche that I’ve ever had at other bakeries. It wasn’t rich yet light and tender. It wasn’t flavorful, want-to-keep-eating-until-your-pants-burst bread. It wasn’t everything that so many other blogs had said they LOVED. It was decent, but not great. Not even close by a mile.
I felt deflated, upset and cheated. The Nutella was great, even awesome BUT I would have enjoyed it more on plain old sliced bread than this so-called “brioche”. My kids couldn’t wait to eat the bread and they didn’t complain. The Nutella had been calling to them after all. But it was telling that my daughter (who is a bread lover) actually only ate the bits where there was Nutella and left most of the bread untouched.
No Knead FAIL
I was going to post this recipe for World Nutella Day. I mean, how can you go wrong with Nutella and Brioche? You can’t, really.
Except somehow I did.
I don’t know what I did wrong. I followed the instructions. I read at least 10 different blogs and sites using this same recipe and all enthused and said good things and took pictures that looked right and droolworthy. I was sure this third time would be the charm and we would be able to proclaim like so many others that no-knead bread works! I REALLY WANTED IT TO WORK! Really really!
Can I just say that Nutella still ROCKS? Nutella ROCKS and if I had had any extra left, I would have made something, anything else to post.
But if Nutella ROCKS, then no-knead bread SUCKS! The bread’s texture and flavor was not good. I don’t know how to describe it well...The crust was tough and the crumb was chewy, almost as if it were undercooked. The brioche did not taste of yeast nor egg nor butter. It was like eating a Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Kitchen Sponge. The only redeeming thing about it was the Nutella. It’s just not bread that I would want to keep eating.
So I’ll say it now: I’m DONE with no-knead breads.
I’m just not doing this again. The anticipation followed by the deflation is not worth it. “No-knead” is supposed to save you time and effort, but what good is it if the bread you get is something you don’t want to eat? Good breads just need more work I guess and I must be willing to put in the time and effort.
Maybe you’ve done no-knead before. Maybe yours turned out great. Maybe I did something wrong. But we’ve done it three times and all three times, they have turned out terrible. When I’ve baked breads using old fashioned kneaded recipes, they’ve all turned out wonderful. I don’t think I’m such a bad baker that I can’t get this right. So I’m calling it quits. I’ll stick to good old fashioned kneaded breads from now on.
Oh well…at least we enjoyed the Nutella! Happy World Nutella Day everyone!