All my blogging friends were eating it–speculoos, or cookie butter. I went right down to Trader Joe’s for a jar of my own. Little did I know that it could lead to a Cookie Butter Braided Bread.
If you haven’t had speculoos it is almost like a spreadable spice cookie. Based on a traditional Northern European holiday cookie, it can be used like an especially decadent peanut butter.
I got the idea to try it in bread last Christmas, when a virtual blogging buddy, Kathy from Bakeaway with Me, made a braided Nutella bread. With layers of dough, swirled around creamy nutella, it was beautiful to say the least. I thought about the jar of Speculoos in my panty.
We had a big group together over the 4th of July weekend so I decided to make a homemade bread for breakfast. I made a couple recipe changes, using half whole wheat flour, swapping speculoos for nutella and dotting with some cinnamon chips. I was a little apprehensive about pulling off the “braid” part (since I have a special talent for making ugly baked goods), but it was actually quite easy.
To form the Speculoos cookie butter bread, you just roll out the dough into a rectangle on parchment and spread with the speculoos.
If you want you can sprinkle on some cinnamon chips (or chopped nuts?) and roll it up. I used the parchment to help coax it along.
You slice down the middle (I found a back and forth sawing motion more effective than a pressing cut), then braid/twist the two sides together, keeping the cut sides up.
Bake, then serve!
Some liked it with butter, some plain. Fun end to a festive weekend! But now the wheels are turning–what would you try rolling into a braided bread?
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 1 cup warm water or milk
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour (or you can use an extra cup of all purpose)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/2 cup Speculoos cookie butter
- 1 tablespoon cornmeal for dusting
- optional 1 tablespoon oil for brushing bread or egg wash (egg beaten with 1 T water)
- optional 1/4 cup cinnamon chips or nuts
- In a small bowl, warm water (or milk) to about 110 F. Add yeast and sugar stirring to dissolve. Let sit for several minutes to activate.
- Meanwhile, combine flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the water mixture and mix on low with a dough hook attachment. Turn speed up to medium, and knead dough for about 7 minutes, adding additional flour if too moist.
- Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover bowl loosely with a wet dish towel, and then set in a warm place. The dough is ready when doubled in size - about an hour.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to form a rectangle, roughly 12 x 15”. Spread cookie butter in an even layer on the surface, leaving a ½ inch border of dough. You can heat the cookie butter in a microwave-safe bowl for about 30 seconds to make spreading easier. Roll tightly and place on a parchment-lined / silicon-lined baking sheet that’s been sprinkled with cornmeal. Cut the dough down the middle with a sharp knife or pizza cutter, leaving one end intact. Twist ends overtop each other, making sure to turn cut side toward the top. Let rest 15-20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. If desired, brush surface of the bread with oil or egg wash to aid browning. Bake bread for 25 minutes or until lightly browned.
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